As the temperature keeps rising, children in Cranston are seeking relief inside at the Cranston libraries for their Summer Reading Programs. And, the libraries are fortunate to have good neighbors like the Episcopal Church next door to Auburn Library that allows their program room to be used when the library is closed, or in this case the program was too big for the library’s activity room.
Almost two-dozen children from all over Cranston came to be entertained by the musical group Rhythm Room on Tuesday, July 17. Two of the nine members of the group performed a show entitled “Rhythm Imaginarium.”
“The group was formed about 13 years ago with some of the current members but became what it is today in 2006. We have a variety of professions within the group from a music teacher, speech therapist, VP of Corporate Communications, philosopher to minister. We have performed along the East Coast as far south as Naples, Florida, including a performance in Washington, D.C. for the National Relay for Life Event,” said Rick Morin, founder and director of the group.
Morin asked the children, ages 3 to 10, what instrument doesn’t cost any money. They politely raised their hands and called out the usual guesses: guitar, piano, flute and drums. Morin said no to each answer, building their curiosity.
“Your body is an instrument that does not cost any money. The only thing it is limited by is your imagination. Your mind is the most powerful tool,” he said.
Morin and his co-presenter, Kate Clarette, had the children do body warm-up exercises first. They explained and demonstrated how to clap using different hand motions and energy, which would result in different sounds.
Clarette and Morin used different percussion instruments from around the world and challenged the children to use their imaginations on what the sounds were. One item was called a bead drum, and when moved around, it replicated the sound of waves.
Another exercise Morin did was have the children clap and stomp their feet at the same time. He counted out the numbers of each movement.
“You have to understand numbers in music. They keep us in place,” he said.
The children learned about different rhythms and beats based on where he struck the instrument.
Giving each child an industrial bucket, Morin asked if the bucket itself was an instrument.
“Technically, it is not an instrument, but when we use our imaginations, it becomes a drum,” he said.
Morin and Clarette demonstrated for the children the proper way to hold a drum stick by holding it like a crab, and pinching with your fingers, “that is where all the strength is,” said Morin.
The children played their “drums” to the rhythmic song of “George of the Jungle” by tapping the center, edge, side of the bucket and tapping the floor.
“Remember, no matter where you go, the whole world is your instrument," said Morin.