Music is the universal language. We all respond to music with emotion and movement. And it is precisely because music elicits such a strong response that it is the perfect medium for bringing greater cultural and historical awareness to young audiences.
At Rhythm Ambassadors, our mission is to act as cultural emissaries to people of all ages and communities; to facilitate historical and cultural awareness through the universal language of music; and to make history and culture come alive in an environment where participants feel connected and inspired. We do this through three different types of programs, School Ensemblies, Artist in Residencies and In Class Workshops and Demonstrations
Contemporary Music of Afro-Latin and Caribbean Cultures
As interactive as the Team Building workshop is, this live concert performance is all about listening and becoming familiar with the different musical genres and styles that are inherently Afro-Latin and Caribbean. We supply the musicians to play (and optionally discuss) various musical forms from such places as Cuba, Trinidad/Tobago, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. These styles of music feature lots of solos and dynamic interplay between the musicians. Students discover just how integrated the instrumentation and rhythms are in the popular music they hear every day.
Duration: 45-90 minutes
Focus on Afro-Latin and Caribbean Music and Dance
Without a doubt, Caribbean culture has had a most profound effect on the music heard and played around the world today, with Cuba and Brazil at the nexus of this influence. In this program, we demonstrate some of the complexity and diversity of Afro-Latin and Caribbean culture through the tools of traditional music and dance. The presentation can include Afro-Cuban orisha (bembe), rumba and comparsa, Trinidadian steel pan, Brazilian capoeira, Puerto Rican salsa and more - and even delves into the contemporary world of music and dance and its traditional origins. Our percussionists and dancers create a high-energy aural, visual, and cultural experience for the audience.
Duration: 45-90 minutes
Custom-Tailored Music Culture/Theory Workshop
We can custom tailor short or long focused workshops to be presented in smaller classroom settings. For example, in a social studies, history or language arts setting, we can present an interactive performance with discussion of the African Diaspora’s impact on Afro-Latin music and culture, and a live music demonstration of the downstream effect this has had on contemporary music genres. In the music classroom, we can teach students the theory and method of these musical genres, tracking their roots back to Africa, the Middle East, India and Europe.
Duration: 60-90 minutes
Team/Community Building Workshop
Drums and drumming are a great way to break down barriers, create common ground, and teach the value of listening and learning together. Music has the power to transform, inspire, move and motivate us, both as individuals and as a group. This workshop stresses the importance of working together to achieve a common goal – the success of the group!
Using a variety of traditional and time-honored percussion principles, and engaging participants completely and at all levels, this program provides students with an opportunity to get in touch with their own rhythms and to better understand the rhythms of the world around them. As a result, they gain greater insight into what makes them tick, and are better able to realize their own potential in a community environment. The side effects of this workshop are completely desirable, too – reduced stress, lowered anxiety and frustration levels, and relaxation among peers as everyone endeavors to create a harmonic resonance through music. The workshop features three lead drummers and a facilitator who orchestrates the participants throughout the exercise. Each participant is also provided with a drum to use during the workshop. Duration: 45-75 minutes
Artist in Residency
Statement of Support for Arts Education
"The Arts are an essential part of public education. From dance and music to theatre and the visual Arts, The Arts give children a unique means of expression, capturing their passions and emotions, and allowing them to explore new ideas, subject matter, and cultures. They bring us joy in every aspect of our lives.
Arts education not only enhances students' understanding of the world around them, but it also broadens their perspective on traditional academics. The Arts give us the creativity to express ourselves, while challenging our intellect. The Arts integrate life and learning for all students and are intergral in the development of the whole person.
The Arts communicate and speak to us in ways that teach literacy and enhance our lives. We must continue to find a place for arts programs and partnerships not only for what it teaches students about art, but for what it teaches us all about the world we live in."
Dr. Terry BergesonWashington State Superintendent of Public InstructionNovember, 2001
Why Host a Rhythm Ambassadors' Artist-in-Residence Program?
Schools and organizations that participate in artist-in-residency programs open the door to numerous benefits. Although our performance programs are very effective at introducing a large audience to a particular music/dance form, Rhythm Ambassadors' Artist-in-Residence Program provides a longer, more personalized, in-depth, and substantial experience of music for an entire host community.
Music has the power to engage, relax and energize us... and has been proven to play a significant role in the healthy development of children. In scientific studies conducted by early childhood specialists, school children who participated in organized music-making over several months showed marked advantages over their classmates that did not. Skills developed through music (and the arts in general) are recognized as being essential in today's society. Playing music benefits children by:
Aiding academic aptitudes in mathematics, science, and the arts
Promoting large and small motor development
Increasing scholastic participation
Cultivating concentration and focused listening
Fostering early vocal development and enhanced social abilities
Bolstering self-image and self-assurance
Encouraging parent/child and teacher/child bonding (when music is practiced together)
Rhythm Ambassadors' Artist-in-Residence Program also provides educators an exciting opportunity to work with a professional musician to design a residency that integrates music with specific curricular areas. Artist-residencies provide a spark for non-traditional learners by encouraging creativity, originality and multiple learning styes.
Residencies also provide public education institutions with an outlet to meet state educational requirements for arts and humanities (such as Washington State's Arts Essential Academic Learning Requirements).
Please contact us for more information about designing and developing a customized artist-in-residency program for your organization.