The Percussion Effect Takes Off
The Percussion Effect from Melodic Connections led an interactive drum circle during ArtsWave Days at the Taft Museum of Art on April 6.
The team gathered on the front lawn next to Far Flung – a whimsical structure created from willow tree saplings. Drum beats filled the warm spring air and subtle sounds entered the galleries inside.
Guests were invited to join in the music making – and many of them did. “We love having Melodic Connections at the Taft Museum of Art,” said Elise Solomon, Director of Learning and Engagement. “For the second time, they have enlivened our front lawn with music. I love that guests are invited to participate in the drum circle. It’s the perfect welcome to a fun evening of activities.”
The Percussion Effect has been busy. In addition to ArtsWave Days, they created music with attendees at the recent American Music Therapy Great Lakes Region conference at Hilton Netherland Plaza and
Empowering Families Symposium held at Xavier University. The team – which includes Melodic students Tina, Daniel and Joslin – is also booking paid gigs for corporate team building. Two years of preparation and planning are paying off as interest grows in The Percussion Effect and the unique experience it offers.
The Percussion Effect started when we began matching Melodic Connections students’ skills and interests with opportunities in the community. We knew we had students who had leadership potential, and in fact, they told us they were ready to do more and ready to lead. Our first endeavor was “Beers & Beats” which is a drum circle experience at area breweries which attracts young professionals into active music making with us.
Since then we’ve expanded the concept because drum circles can bring mindfulness and connection to so many different settings: arts events, public gatherings, conferences, corporate meetings and places where people want community and a focus on wellness. The Red Cross, Clermont County Library, Xavier University, Cincinnati breweries, Gyro Marketing and private parties have all hosted The Percussion Effect.
The team – led by Melodic Music Therapist Alexandra Wilson – continues to develop options for drumming based on the wants of different groups. Do they want an exciting participatory event in a public space? Do they want an exploration of different music genres that can be expressed through drumming? Or do they want the proven benefits of drumming for building communication, trust and connection in a business or community group setting? During Friday meetings together, the team works to create a variety of session plans, then they bring drumming experiences to the community.
As they move into the future, the goal is to grow the program so there are multiple ways musicians bring drumming into a variety of spaces including businesses, assisted care facilities, and schools. Ultimately, with arts and corporate partners, they’ll build a network of community that values diversity and is open to different kinds of arts experiences.