Building Rhythm: A Music Project on the Move

17 February, 2013

”Give Us a Chance and See Us Perform! ”.  As a result of budget cuts and constraints in California, we began to witness the decline of enrichment programs for the disabled in our community of Santa Cruz.  As the parent of a young adult with a disability, I knew the adversity and challenges this population and their families faced and how their lack of resources exacerbated already disadvantaged children.  In 2010 we began a mobile music project “Building Rhythm” that initially served 90 adults with developmental disabilities by bringing a hands on music experience to three day programs.  The following year we received a small grant to conduct the project with school age children.  We have continued this project to the present thanks to our supporters and a grant from Bread for the Journey of Santa Cruz County.

“Building Rhythm” is conducted at local school sites in partnership with MusicalMe and brings in a facilitator trained in the principles of the internationally acclaimed music program “Music Together.”  This project is currently at Soquel High, Scotts Valley High, San Lorenzo Valley High, Chrysalis Pre-School, and our most recent addition, thanks to our grant from Bread for the Journey of Santa Cruz County, a third grade class from Del Mar Elementary.  A portion of the class is vocalizing and a portion is experiencing rhythm through percussion and body movement.  We have been received with enthusiasm by teachers and students and continue to receive new requests.  Teachers have reported increased vocalization by students, improved motor movement and social skills.  In addition teachers have reported that they have learned skills from our project that they have used in other areas.  One example was a child that could not complete spelling his name but when the letters were put to music he became successful in memorizing the order.  Building for Generations extends our heartfelt thanks to Bread for the Journey of Santa Cruz County and all of our supporters that have made this “Building Rhythm” possible.