Every fortnight for the last 4 years we have been running our disability drumming workshop program at Horizons Respite Centre in Margate, Brisbane. We have between 10 and 15 clients and they all have varying levels of ability. We play the African djembe drums, sing and dance.
One girl loves the song, ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ and now it’s become part of our repertoire. We sing it every week all together!
We have a repertoire of songs that we play and everyone knows the breaks and can sing or clap along to the music. One of our favourites is a song called our ‘Awadabole’, which means welcome in ‘Bamana’ (Mali, West Africa). We have a game that we play with this song, where everyone has to try and get the two hits on the drums after the call that I do on the Balafon (West African Xylophone). Sometimes we get so excited and the music gets faster and faster that you can see people trying to dance. Even if they’re lying down in a bed, they are still moving their bodies to the music.
The beautiful thing about running our disability drumming workshop with this group is seeing everyone smile and having fun together whilst playing different percussion instruments and drums. Some of them play rhythms and join in with the music whilst others are happy to listen or move their bodies to the rhythm. Over the years I have been blessed to get to know them and establish meaningful relationships.
It is a very humbling experience working at Horizons and it feels great to be able to bring joy, fun and rhythm into these peoples lives. The groups excitement and appreciation of the music and rhythm is always so encouraging to the team at Rhythm Culture. We love what we do and its heart warming to think that they love it so much too.