Rhythmania (originally DrumTech) was started in 2005 by Bonny Phillips and Neil Jourdan. Both had been using drums in schools not only as musical instruments but also as effective educational tools for a number of years.
The drum is an accessible musical instrument which learners from Grade R to secondary school can play and enjoy. More importantly the drum has far reaching social, cognitive and spatial benefits. Many of the learning outcomes for various grades are achieved through the action of drumming, rhythm and movement.
Various companies and groups provide once off interactive drumming where the drums are provided and a session (usually an hour) is facilitated. These interactive sessions are fun and uplifting but the effects are shortlived. The drum is most effective as an educational tool if used on a regular basis.
Yet a problem exists: drums are expensive and many schools cant afford them. Having only a few drums limits the drums social efficacy as hand drumming is essentially a group activity. It is on this basis that Rhythmania set about developing a drum which is cost effective, robust and has a good sound. The resulting drums are unique as they are in a kit format which the learners themselves can build.
Along with the drums, Rhythmania started offering teacher training courses where teachers come and make their own drum, spend an afternoon learning about hand drumming, how it could be used in the classroom, numerous activities and the resulting benefits. These courses proved to be very popular and successful in 2006.
Many schools purchased their drum kits and set about building and decorating them during their DT classes. Some schools opted to get the Rhythmania Team in to run a mornings workshop where the team facilitated the drum building and some drumming with the learners.
Despite the efficacy of the drums, the building of them was limited to Grade 5 and up which posed a problem as all learners can benefit from drumming, rhythm and movement. Rhythmania has taken up this challenge extending the workshops and courses from the drum to body work and various other percussive ideas. We now offer a range of workshops and training courses for 2007.
Meet the Facilitators
Neil studied a BA (Ed) at RAU between the years 1996 1999. After graduating he left for England and taught in South London for three years. He began drumming with the pupils and staff in the school for both educational and recreational purposes. During this time he trained with drummers from Senegal and the UK. Realizing the benefits which drumming held for all who partake he returned to South Africa to further his studies as a Creative Music Therapist at the University of Pretoria. At the end of 2005 he completed his masters degree in Music Therapy.
As a Music Therapist he works with physically and mentally disabled children and emotionally disabled adults. He teaches drumming at Holy Rosary School on a weekly basis working with all classes and the remedial education team. He also teaches drumming at Saint Stithians College. In 2005 he co-founded DrumTech (now Rhythmania) which facilitates drum building, drumming, rhythm and percussion courses for teachers and workshops for schools. Neil has been playing drums for seven years, has been using drums in schools for six years and facilitating corporate interactive drumming sessions for three years. He is a member of the ten piece African percussion ensemble - Sekeidenz. He has trained with drummers from Ghana, Senegal, UK and South Africa and is continually looking to extend and improve his skills.
Bonny originally studied through J.C.E and then furthered her studies at C.E.F.T. as a Senior Primary trained educator. She has over twenty years of teaching experience ranging from Grade R all the way through to Grade 12 learners. Specializing in Guidance, she has always been aware of the emotional and social needs of the learners. She discovered through her own experiences that drumming was the key to many of those needs being met. Besides drumming, Bonny plays guitar and piano and has always been aware of the therapeutic value of music in general. She began drumming two and a half years ago, and has been involved in drumming for remedial purposes, as well as for concert events at schools. She teaches drumming at a school on a weekly basis to the Foundation Phase learners, and is involved in corporate interactive sessions. She used to play for a ten piece African percussion ensemble, but has since left. Bonnys main focus is to reduce the stress and anger levels of the learners in our schools through drumming as a positive reinforcement, and to enable them to experience teamwork at its best.
3 St Paul Road
3 St Paul Road
To view a full list of all courses presented by Rhythmania click below.