Ba-Boom! are Shon & Svet : Specialist Teachers, acclaimed Musicians, Composers and Creative Co-Directors of an independent Rhythm Education unit that travels extensively across outback and remote Australia to provide unique services and opportunities to Indigenous youth. Through the exciting medium of Ensemble Drumming, Ba-Boom! are empowering Indigenous youth by developing their latent skills in music and taking them on a Journey into Rhythm.
The heart of Ba-Boom!‘s work is focused into two parallel streams: providing curriculum-enhancing Rhythm Training Classes for remote community schools and delivering educational Youth Development Programs for after-school and school holiday periods. Ongoing school engagements have culminated in school children pursuing their musical aspirations all the way to festival stages with performances for wide, public audiences.
Ba-Boom!’s visits to the remote Ltyentye Apurte School over the last three years in Santa Teresa has reaped the finest results to date. Major public performances for the Alice Desert and Wide Open Spaces Festivals, as well as winning the Open Percussion Section in two consecutive years at the Centralian Eistedfodd, inspired the school and community of Santa Teresa to send the Ltyentye Apurte Drummers off on their first ever, cross-state tour to Darwin in 2012.
All of these achievements and public outcomes are not only testimony of the Ltyentye Apurte Drummers’ quality and professionality, but of the strength of Ba-Boom!’s Rhythm in Schools Program.
The Ba-Boom! Rhythm in Schools Program is clear, thorough and effective.
Young people’s physical co-ordination and mental faculties are exercised through the accessible medium of drumming. To drum well requires good technique, careful listening and concentration skills. The wholistic experience, shared in a group context, involves the class group to work together as one, in rhythm, following clear instructions and arrangement of musical material.
The Program takes the guidelines of the Australian Curriculum’s General Capabilities and applies them to the context of music as a medium for social connection and interaction. Drumming is a proven means of accessing multiple intelligences as well as being health-giving and stress-relieving. Teachers and Principals who observe Ba-Boom!’s process are forthcoming with their appreciation of the students’ enhanced self-esteem, discovery of leadership qualities, team spirit and increased learning capacities.
Pre-school and Transition classes provide rhythmic exploration through songs, movement sequences and dance as well.
Over the years, the Nyangatjatjara, Mutitjulu, Finke, Ikuntji, Ampilatwatja, Arlpurrurulum, Yirara, Walunguru, Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) and Marree Aboriginal Schools have all embraced Ba-Boom’s Rhythm Program. Teachers at all of these schools have recognized a blossoming of their students learning capacity and confidence as a result of their engagement in Ensemble Drumming.
Shon Klose, Founder of Ba-Boom! speaks,
On Developmental Learning & Success:
“In many ways it is a matter of educating the students in the process of learning how to learn. Once they understand that they need to commit and focus to reach their goal, the results of which are being celebrated by their community and the general public, they get a taste of the rewards and benefits of learning, both internally and externally.
The FEELING of success is motivating. This process encourages the young people to attend school more regularly and to have the courage to persist even when it seems challenging. Effectively we are teaching positive resilience and positive learning.”
Psychologist Bruce Perry M.D.,PhD is the Senior Fellow of the Childhood Trauma Academy. After a 20 year research project he and his colleagues have documented the profound effects of rhythm and movement in creating well developed children. He states, “Normal social-emotional development requires attentive attuned care giving and a rich array of relational opportunities during development. Healthy organization of neural networks depends upon the pattern, frequency and timing of key experiences during development. Patterned, repetitive activity changes the brain. Neurons are uniquely designed to change in response to activity. They are use dependent. Children exposed to consistent, predictable nurturing and neurosequential brain activities will develop neurobiological capabilities that will increase the child’s chance for effective learning, health, happiness, productivity and creativity.”
“It’s an exciting time because Indigenous youth have an incredible natural aptitude for sports, language , music and the arts in general. Slowly but surely, funding is being sourced to support Developmental Programs like ours, that ultimately enable Indigenous youth to proudly shine in their natural abilities. They then, can enjoy opportunities to learn and grow not only in school, but in all of life.
The more we celebrate the skills of Indigenous people, the healthier and more empowered they will become, enabling further valuable contributions to the greater cultural wealth of our society. A deeper sense of pride and empowerment will flow into community life and develop into healthier life choices in general.”
How We Do It:
“Influenced by West African rhythms, we pull rhythms apart and piece them back together in an exciting, surprising and dynamic form. West African rhythms are a series of patterns/sequences that strongly engage the facility of memory, physical co-ordinati0n, listening skills and teamwork as well as offering numerous other benefits.
Accessibility is the key: we need to find the precise balance between too easy and too challenging. The former gets boring while the latter inspires a fear of failure i.e, a giving up on oneself.
We need to regularly change the sequences to maintain young peoples’ interest and enthusiasm, hence the multiple breaks and layering in our arrangements. It is important to us that the students feel pride and ownership of the pieces, engendering a deep sense of confidence when performing in a public arena.
While certain patterns and feels are borrowed from the West African rhythm genre, we also reference Middle-Eastern, Latin and other world grooves.
It is an exciting journey because when I began teaching remote community youth, I quickly discovered that what I had learned in a very formal way from my mentors in African music and rhythm, was not easily accessible to the highly excitable and easily distracted youth of today!
This is how I began breaking down these wonderfully exciting rhythmic feels and piecing them back together in a simple, original form.
Life is awash with patterns and we like to explore the limitless ways to connect and weave them together into magnetic tapestries of sound.
While the weaving is in process, we expose the fact that there are many parts that make up the whole (as in life!), where each individual part is equally as important as the next. When a rhythm ensemble is entrained it generates a strong vibrational frequency.
Ultimately, this is what inspires the profound joy that people experience when engaging in, listening to and being awash in an orchestra of drums and percussion, played in dynamic oneness.”
Svet & Shon