Saturday, February 19, 2011

Release - Drumming Up Learning and Fun for the Developmentally Disabled

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February 16, 2011

Kevin Hutchinson 
Pathways/Inclusion Coordinator 
Chris Carrel 
Communication & Grant Coordinator 
253-835-2411 or 253-347-7057 

Drumming Up Learning and Fun for the Developmentally Disabled 

The Federal Way Community Center can get loud on Tuesday evenings as The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP) unleashes the healing and learning power of percussion and rhythm. Residents with disabilities use drums and percussion blocks in a guided learning program that is internationally recognized for its rehabilitative power.

“Our class uses percussion and rhythm as creative learning tools for people with various disabilities,” said Kevin Hutchinson, the city’s Pathways/Inclusion Coordinator. “Drumming is a tool to teach basic life skills and enhance the mind, body and spirit for disabled individuals.”

The Rhythmic Arts Project is the first of its kind in Washington State. The class is the brainchild of volunteer Rob Sanders, who is also the chef for the city’s Dumas Bay Centre. Chef Rob has been volunteering for the past nine years, teaching a cooking class for disabled residents. A drummer himself, he learned about TRAP in a drum magazine and donated the money and time to start Federal Way’s class last September.

“We have a large population of special needs individuals in Federal Way,” said Sanders, who volunteers to teach the weekly class. “I’m proud that our city provides a range of programs like The Rhythmic Arts Project that foster independence and self-confidence.”

The Rhythmic Arts Project was founded by professional drummer Eddie Tuduri who was paralyzed in a surfing accident in 1997. Tuduri developed the program as part of his rehabilitation and has since transformed it into an educational program that teaches basic life skills such as maintaining focus, counting, using memory, and spatial awareness.

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