BA-BOOM! Adventures in Sound!

Mobile Music Program for Youth in Remote Areas

Ba-Boom! in 2014


It  has been an eventful year of exciting engagements and new projects for Ba-Boom! With great support from the NPY Women’s Council, Ba-Boom have continued to deepen their relationships with the communities of Mimili, Ernabella, Amata, Docker River, Mutitjulu and Fregon by providing dynamic school holiday programs across the APY Lands throughout the year.

Using these relationships as a springboard, the Child and Mental Health Services of South Australia (CAMHS) were inspired to engage Ba-Boom to make repeated visits to Mimili Anangu School to specifically apply their Rhythm in Schools Program in addressing youth trauma. It’s been an incredible journey so far.

Ba-Boom’s first visit coincided with the timing of the annual APY Lands dance competition known as Ernabella Dance. The event organisers were open to having a youth drum ensemble perform for the opening and thus, the Mimili Maku Drummers were born.

Out of a two week period of rhythm immersion for all of the students at the school, at least ten kids volunteered to take on performing. As the school was also preparing a group dance item, the students were accustomed to the process of rehearsing. To complete the ritual of performance, special shirts were printed up to wear onstage and the fledgling music group were in good stead for their public debut. Needless to say, the Mimili Maku Drummers were warmly received for their opening item on the program and appreciated by all of the gathered youth and their families attending Ernabella Dance 2014.

While Ba-Boom’s first visit was novel, exciting and performance oriented, Ba-Boom!’s second visit to Mimili Anangu School was an opportunity to go deeper into the healing aspects of rhythm. Ongoing studies in childhood trauma and neurobiology reveal that “Areas of the brain most vulnerable to trauma are those responsible for thinking and processing information. Therefore children that have been exposed to trauma often have speech and language difficulties, as well as becoming hypervigilant, lacking impulse regulation and ability to concentrate. This causes a cascade of problems that include relationship and school issues; decreased employment opportunities later in life; increased heart disease, diabetes and immune disorders; and mental health problems. Experiencing neglect in the early years creates a set of burdens and developmental insults difficult to overcome without specialist services.”

With this basic understanding of childhood trauma, neurobiological processes, and the circumstances affecting youth in remote communities, Ba-Boom are acutely interested in and are successfully utilising rhythm as a healing modality. This current engagement via CAMHS with the Mimili youth, is enabling Ba-Boom to discover and impart even more creative ways to involve traumatised and disadvantaged youth on a Journey into Rhythm.


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