Livin The Rhythm Youth Academy
In 2009, I began teaching children African Hand Percussion for a local Police Athletic League. A drummer friend, who had introduced me to African Drumming a few years prior, provided me with the oppurtunity. To put it plainly, it was a life changing experience! I was able to see directly the positive effect drumming had on the children, how they took to me as an instructor, and how I could be a positive example of an African American Man in their life. My mind began racing for all kinds of potential projects and ideas I could do with youth involving these instruments. This one gig set me on a path to spread African Drumming everywhere I could. From schools of all levels, to drug rehab centers, to elder homes, to community centers.
Currently I am the Art Teacher at Hope Rural Elementary, a privately funded Catholic School, where I involve drumming into the art lessons with things such as Image-nation Meditation, drum where students draw after I take them on a guided journey of their own minds with the assistance of a Djembe and cow bell. As a LOT 23 Artist in the Pleasant CIty Area, I teach weekly classes free of charge at the Pleasant City Community center and Center for Creative Education. Prior to that, I was apart of a group called Drumz Over Gunz in which we provided young urban males with African cultural based oppurtunities to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. We offered classes in subjects like drumming, dancing, acrobatics, mask making ,etc. I was the only teacher in Palm Beach County participating in Drumz Over Gunz, which began out of Delou in Little Haiti. I had a class in Pleasant CIty and one in Delray at the Millagro Center. I eventually ventrued out on my own as Drumz Over Gunz wasn't getting the support it needed in Dade County, where it originated, and that trickled down to even less support for me Palm Beach County. I eventually started Livin The Rhythm Youth Academy, to go along with my Livin The Grown Rhythm class and Livin The Rhythm Higher Vibration Drum Circle, the latter of which is about to have it's 5 year anniversary.
All of theses classes are offered free of charge for all students, as is the drum circle. Because the drums can become quite costly, I have been teaching my students for almost 2 years, with mostly buckets and drum sticks. Through out my time drumming I have collected a few drums and other percussion, some through donation, others I purchased myself to utilize in the many different programs I have going on . I have had instruments stolen, broken beyond repair, and many are hand me downs that experienced much wear and tear before I even got my hands on them. In the community center where I teach there is already a Steel and Marching Band Drum Line. These were provided through funding they recieved prior to me coming to teach my class. It is EXTREMELY hard to compete with other drum lines, ESPECIALLY if I don't have the proper tools in the first place to attract the children. I have been offered many opprtunities to coordinate drum circles around the state that I'm forced to turn down because I don't have enough decent instruments to effectily head it in the first place. With good proper instruments, I can travel and start off drum troupes all over South FLorida. For places like rehab centers, nursing homes, communit centers that don't have the funding to provide children the oppurtunity by providing instuments. I can bring them and start it off myself. I have tried going through the CCE and other creative education sources but with little to no help. I don't have a big company or anything like that behind me. Just me and those that support what I'm doing in the community. So now I'm hitting up the internet. We need Djembes of all sizes, Dunduns, Bougarabous, Shakers, Kalimbas, Koratunes, Balaphones, Cowbells, African Fabrics to make outfits for out drum troupe. As well as skins, ropes, and rings to repair a few drums we have now. If you have instruments you want to donate to the cause instead of money we'll take that too. Help us continue to make a difference and step up our reach and ability to play this positive role. People of all kinds are our motivation...and so it is people of all kinds who will make this a reality. I thank you for your time and donation. Stay Blessed
SO TOMORROW...MY LIVIN THE GROWN RHYTHN CLASS WILL BE COMBINING WITH VANYAS MIX BAG OF DANCE ADULT CLASS TO HAVE DRUMMING AND AFRICAN DANCING! SO BASICALLY...FREE AFRICAN DANCE CLASS WITH LIVE DRUMMING AS WEL AS FREE AFRICAN DRUM CLASS WITH LIVE DANCING!! HOW CAN YOU SAY NO?!? HERE'S THE LINK!!
DON'T FORGET TO SHARE AND SUPPORT!!! GIVE THANKS!!!
HERE ARE SOME PICTURES FROM OUR WEEKEND EVENT TREAL B-QUE...STAY TUNED FOR WHAT WE GON DRUM UP NEXT!!
-BASI DA BOSSMANBLACK-