taylor kennedy
rhythm builds community

Workshop: Building Community Through Rhythm:                      

Anyone can participate -- No musical skill required: Building Community Through Rhythm is a workshop in which a group has fun creating simple parts on percussion instruments while encouraging cooperation. The simple act of playing music together teaches the skills inherent in becoming a strong and thriving community. Building Community Through Rhythm creates a high-energy activity that provides immediate gratification and feedback while encouraging self-expression through cooperation, contribution, and communication. 
Anyone can participate at any skill level. The magic of rhythm reaches all ages, sexes, races and cultures

A Building Community Through Rhythm event will:

  • Teach team building in a unique way
  • Promote cooperation versus competition
  • Demonstrate individual effect on the larger whole
  • Develop listening and expressing skills
  • Provide a foundation for learning music
  • Inspire community involvement
  • Activate playful stress reduction

Taylor Kennedy is a graduate of the USC Music School and has been playing in both jazz and rock bands since he was 13. He is a seasoned teacher, with a warm and encouraging presence. He teaches music full time, is currently playing in four bands, and has recorded on numerous CDs. He recently played a tour through the Northwest, opening for the Wailers.

Logistics: This is a 2 - 4 hour, one-time event, designed to integrate into an offsite agenda, or a day of team building.
I bring the equipment and the facilitation; you provide a comfortable space for 20 - 150 participants, with room to sit in a circle and to get up and move a bit.
Cost is dependent on size, time and location.

More details: A group of people sits in a circle, perhaps two or three rows deep when in larger numbers. Members select one of several sizes of plastic tubes, called 'boomwhackers'. These instruments make different, distinctive sounds depending on their length, when hit with a hand or a drum stick. Each group learns a basic rhythm figure, then we work on adding these together to make a complex and interesting groove.
Once people are comfortable with keeping their part and staying in rhythm, we might mix up the people around you, so you get used to hearing your 'voice' among different rhythms; we'll play with which parts stick out, and what happens when we add some additional complexity to the beat.

Can you keep the basic pulse and let others strech over your foundation? Can you move away from your part-mates and still hear the hole where you fit in? Can you stay grounded when everybody gets excited? What happens when you get up in front of the group and 'rock out' with a bit of a solo part? Can your part adjust so it blends in with all the other parts? How do you work with shifts in the energy level? .... see how this starts to sound like how groups work together?
And all the time, you're making this incredible, pulsing beat which changes and morphs into something bigger as you work with it. And it's fun! And anyone can do it.
Now, let's make some changes, try some different instruments, play with some give-and-take, call and response. The possibilities are all over the place for us to play with! Let's make this a community.