Camp Harmony is a bi-yearly camp for children for Los Angeles area homeless shelters. I’ve had the great fortune of being able to participate in a variety of ways throughout the last ten years. For the past few years I’ve been developing a drumming program to teach the kids about rhythm and to empower them to express themselves. All the drums and mallots are home made, or from found materials. The mallots specifically took a long time to perfect. They literally need to be indestructible. If there was an ever an exacting standard by which to measure somethings durability, give it to a bunch of 7 year olds to beat the hell out of.
The program itself includes a number of warm up exercises to get them comfortable with the the drums and mallots. Then I slowly introduce concepts of counting and how to apply structure to the rhythm. Eventually I split them up into groups based on their instruments and each group learns a unique part. For the finale the group plays all the parts together which can sound pretty darn good.
The video below shows a group after 45 minutes of playing.