ARC Beats Drumming

ARC Beats Drumming will take the stage alongside Glider Pilots, Joresoh, Kanishk and Sister Liberty for The Tanks Monthly Markets Songwriters Stage on Sunday 27th November. Offering a unique slice of cultural life in the tropics, the free monthly event features local musicians, various stalls, food and refreshments.  With performances from 9am till 2pm, ARC Beats Drumming will feature along a quality line up of local songwriters in the beautiful surrounds of The Tanks Arts Centre.

ARC Beats Drumming, a program offered by ARC Disability Services (Accommodating Responsive Creative) is a non-government disability service that provides various programs in areas such as performing arts, health and lifestyle for young people who have recently finished school.

The group started drumming close to 8 years ago and started training on makeshift tyre drums with masking tape over the back, before receiving a grant to purchase Djembes. Playing a combination of African, Egyptian and original rhythms, the group received their first gig when local songwriter Jeremiah Johnson offered the band a support slot for his Homeland Album Launch in 2009, back when the group were still practising on tyre drums.

Speaking to Velvet Eldred (co-ordinator of ARC Beats Drumming) she explained to me how Drumming helps with the brain and can be very beneficial in other areas of life.

“When I was an arts worker, people would roll their eyes when I would try to explain why it works. Now that we understand more about Neuro-plasticity, we’ve learnt that the brain is not hard-wired, it’s plastic, and given enough consistency and fun, the brain will start making these neural pathways which increases the coordination and discipline focus. There are a lot of articles out there that say while you’re drumming you’ll never need prosaic. There are many therapeutic benefits from drumming; it’s good for the soul.”

The act consists of 7 young performers alongside teacher Velvet Eldred and professional musician Emmaline Anderson of Sister Liberty. They’ve performed at events such as Eco Fiesta, Cairns Festival, Palm Cove Peace Day and also the Special Needs Olympics and next year are eyeing of a spot at Tablelands Folk Festival as well as a host of other events.

“It challenges the perception of what you think you can achieve. It does take a lot of focus and discipline. Once upon a time the group members would duck and weave on stage, being quite shy. Now they are all stepping up to the microphone with much confidence. It’s been a beautiful thing to watch their development”.

ARC Beats Drumming perform at The Tanks Monthly Markets Songwriters Stage on Sunday 27th November alongside Glider Pilots, Joresoh, Kanishk and Sister Liberty. 46 Collins Avenue Edge Hill. 9am till 2pm. Free event.

Mitch Sullivan

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