While the hustle and bustle of #givingtuesday has past, we would like to still remind you, that we don't need just one day to give. Giving towards a charity or non-profit program anytime of the year, allows that program to continue even past the Holidays-
Some of you may or may not know, but currently our non-profit is compiled of two co-directors and a small board, collaborated with Vermont Singing Drum and the support of many teachers and school administrations we have already worked with....
So needless to say, we are pretty small with some BIG dreams-
Just in Vermont alone, there are approximately 250 Public Schools, 135 Private Schools and 30 Alternative Schools. To put it into perspective a Sponsored Donation of $10,000 would supply 30 drums. That would two drums into 15 classrooms into a School. $5,000 would supply 15 drums in 7 classrooms into a School.
What does a Vermont Singing Drum really do?...
New research has suggested that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may also be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills. It can be said to help increase your IQ in both children and adults and “brain training” can be pretty BIG business. Playing music has also been found to help strengthen the bonds with others. It helps create the communicational bridge between two individuals, reducing bullying and increases acceptance of differences.
This program has proven to help Calm & Re-center students at key parts of the day; Improve their learning, listening & focusing skills; Stimulates creativity & the desire to learn; Promotes cooperation and helps to build healthy relationships with their peers and adults; Reduce bullying by breaking down defensive barriers & building bridges using a different form of therapeutic communication; Increase acceptance of differences by playing the same drum together. Benefits of Music for Children; Speech Development, Vocabulary Building, Builds Patience, Builds Self-Esteem, Sense of Positive Discipline, Aids in Better Listening and Better Brain Development. Research has suggested that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may also be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills. With these improved skills it can help create the communicational bridge between two individuals, reducing bullying and increases openness and acceptance of differences.
Bullying vs. Music
Bullying is often a complex issue, in particular with children, encompassing the social, economic, structural, and psychological dimensions of upbringing. As in many symbiotic relationships, bullying is harmful both for the victim as well as the bully. A 2013 study from the University of Minnesota found that music therapy can be used as an effective intervention for both bullies and victims. While the main part of the study focused on gender-based bullying, it showed how exposure to music and interaction mediated with the use of instruments helped in easing negative emotions among children. By exposing them to music and instruments, music therapy improved peer relations and self-management.
Help us provide a little change that can make a big difference and donate or become a Sponsor today
We sure have been busy here at B.I.G.!
From finalizing our new brochures (out in your mailbox soon!), the summer school break shuffle, mini summer vacations, a wedding, Little Umbrella's First Friday Openings, Grant writing, working with Vermont Singing Drum, getting Heart to Hand into some more classrooms in some of our local schools besides Edmunds Elementary (including Milton and Lyman C. Hunt Middle School) and just learning to balance new challenges...
Sometimes, life can just throw you a ton of curve balls, but here at B.I.G, we have all learned to rely on your friends, family and community when you need to.
Summer time can be just as overwhelming as the winter months, but you just have to keep your head clear and motivation strong.
One way Tim and I keep our heads above the water of all the moving parts is practice what we teach- every morning, for at least 5-10mins, we play the Vermont Singing Drums (with the company of our office manager Bella of course). Sometimes, we give our thoughts out to those we know need a little extra energy and sometimes we just need to refocus our own energy to help ourselves keep focused. It sure is a lot easier to be excited about something you practice and believe in isn't it?
Little Umbrella : Art Curation
Opening Reception is Friday, August 2, 2019 from 5-8pm, at The Gallery at Main Street Landing, 3 Main Street, Cornerstone Building in downtown Burlington VT.
For all of Little Umbrella's Artist listings follow HERE
We hope to see you there!
Be Kind, Be Well and HAPPY SUMMER!
For all of Little Umbrella's Artist listings follow HERE
Be Kind, Be Well!
Sarah’s long time love in the “arts” began at a very young age, from writing stories and poetry, photography and painting scenery on found shells from the beach, it’s only fitting she’s carried this passion into her adulthood.
What Sarah brings to the B.I.G. table is her fantastic array of administrative and creative skills, as well as her unique funny energy, goofy sense of humor, passion and dedication. She is detail oriented, hard-working and keeps the rest of ‘us’ on task at the same time (ha ha ha). Being a single parent she has developed a strong time management presence, that allows her to take on whatever is thrown at her, with ease and efficiency.
Her experience in her past positions with the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC) and the South End Arts & Business Association (SEABA) has helped her understanding of how non-profits function and connected her into the community, both art and business. She has become well known in the Burlington area, as well as the surrounding areas and liked in the art community for her easy going personality and her commitment to a quality job.
Her passion for the arts was very apparent in her role as Curator while working for SEABA, which led her to one of B.I.G.s newest programs, Little Umbrella : Art Curation. Her “Visual Wellness Program” addition helped B.I.G. focus on a well rounded balanced focus of Wellness, part of B.I.G.’s mission to inspire creativity and foster well-being through art and music.
Always learning, growing and playing, you can expect to see “big” things from Sarah with whatever she does.
Five years ago, Tim came to Vermont with a dream... That dream became his business, Vermont Singing Drum. Tim has always been a designer of projects based on his creative right brained thinking. Upon the years of research he had done about the value of music in someones life, he became even more intrigued with the sounds and designs of "Singing Drums". There are many styles and types of these drums, but Tim took it to the next level. Originally from recycled propane tanks, with the desire to not just create a musical instrument, but help create beauty from left over material, Tim handmade his first Vermont Singing Drum.
From here, he perfected the sound and design, making it an easy access to play for not just musician, but for the non-musician to interact with a musical instrument. With his own background of music, he knew that most musical instruments could be daunting and take years to master, also creating a competitive musical world that he wanted to avoid.
His dream was to provide a drum that was not just easy to play with no instruction, but also create a kindness feeling while playing. Kindness to yourself and Kindness to others.
Once established in the South End Arts District, Burlington Vermont, Tim, who has held a long term relationship of being 'different' from others in how he learns, views situations and sees the world, already knew what a difference playing a musical instrument can be for a child in their years of growth. However Tim wanted to take it a step further once again and took his "Kindness Drum" into the schools.
He understood that not all children are the same and some learn on a different scale than others, some are happier than others and some have better social skills than others. What he wanted to provide is the bridge to close that gap that makes those differences and show that it's "ok" to be different, with the understanding, we need and should all respect and be kind to one another. He wanted to see what we could do to engage everyone together as one strong bond of kindness and growth.
After seeing the results of one classroom, he saw the BIG vision and birthed Balance Intelligence Group, with the in school program of supplying TWO of his Vermont Singing Drums into EVERY classroom of EVERY school, Heart to Hand.
Developing Heart to Hand, a musical mindfulness classroom management program, that helps teachers and students re-direct their energy and attention into a positive and creative mindset.
Building culture and community is a huge staple in Tim's views, not just B.I.G.'s vision. Tim's desire to see if his drums in a classroom is just enough of a nudge for a child to change their path to improvement and wellness, just follows in line with his dream from founding his business Vermont Singing Drum, who has become one of B.I.G.s sponsors. "They say to find your purpose in life - well that's my purpose, I wish to heal" -Tim
Tim and myself are excited to announce our newest additions to our Board of Trustees...
If you would like to be part of our B.I.G. Dream, send us a NOTE!
Be Kind, Be Well
Good Morning World!
It is a very exciting day for Tim and myself at B.I.G.!
We are having our first gathering/meeting with a collective few that have expressed their interest in our non-profit B.I.G.
Tim and I are excited to explain what we are, what we are doing, our goals and how people can become involved (example: Trustee Members, Sponsors, Donors and just Friendly Hands to Help Out)
If YOU are interested in learning about what B.I.G. stands for, what programs we have running so far and what you can do to help, please feel free to join us today, Friday April 12th at 12:30pm. We will be meeting in the Vermont Singing Drum Gallery Store at 4 Howard Street.
We look forward to what this meeting will bring us and continue in our goals for B.I.G.
Have a great Friday, and as my 8yr old LOVES to sing while jumping up and down in bed, on every Friday morning before school "It's the weekend, it's the weekend!"
Recently I read this horrifying article about how the number of Kids attempting suicide has doubled since 2007. This fact crushed me completely, not just because I am a parent, but also, because like many of us, unfortunately, I have been exposed to someone who has had thoughts of suicide or have actually committed suicide.
Being a parent, I just want the best for my child. What parent doesn't? But, in this day and age, I think we have put so much pressure on, not just our children to do better than the best, but ourselves to always be the perfect parent in a perfect society. That's an immense amount of pressure for an adult to handle, let alone a child, who is still learning who they are going to be in the world. I think we have forgotten to just be kids. Get dirty, laugh in the rain, dance in the kitchen when everyone is watching, do those dirty dishes tomorrow, finish folding the clothes AFTER you spend that time running around the yard playing hide and go seek. I know we all have responsibilities and goals to be met, but somewhere we lost the moment where we just stop and smell the flowers. Where we listen to ourselves and those around us. We give, without taking and achieve greatness when we are meant to and how we were meant to, accepting everyones greatness will forever be different, but doesn't make it any less than the next.
In the article, it stated there isn't a real clear reason as to why this alarming number of suicide attempts has doubled in the past 12 years, but from a study they have arrived to some theories.
One theory is, as I just spoke of above, the increase pressure to be better than the best in school, with the fear about not being able to make a living in their future. And this is a pressure we feel as parents and adults already feel in our "grown up lives", but now it's flowing right down onto our children.
Another theory is the rise of social media, which in turn has brought on higher reports of cyberbullying, as well as the detachment to 'real life'. Let's be honest, not one of us can say, we haven't gone on the computer or phone today. I included in this statement, as I sit here with my cup of morning tea, writing this. Social media is clearly just as negative as it has become a positive in our society.
Bullying has always existed, as much as we would like to think back when we were kids, and convince ourselves there weren't as many cases and stories of bullying, there was. Now, with social media, bullying has become as easy as a flick of your finger across the screen, announcing it to the whole world to see and feel. We have lost the ability to express and work through our own feelings.
This morning, before we started our breakfast routine shuffle before school, I came out into the living room to see my 8 year old, taking his moment in the morning to play his Singing Drum and I realized, not everyone is as lucky as we are to be able to take this moment when we need it. Playing these drums on a daily basis has helped both of us. Clearing our minds, taking that moment in the day and just growing our bond with one another.
This is one of the many reason why I feel our B.I.G. program, Heart to Hand, is so important. Providing two of these drums in each classroom allows for children to take that moment. Reconnect with themselves, with their peers and create relationships with those they didn't think they could. Maybe the person who you thought was just being a bully because they can, has a story behind them. Being placed into a circle every day with these drums, that bully is given the chance to be heard through the drum, and a chance to let those harmful thoughts and actions to be let go. Or that child who is so unsure about themselves and has been bullied from the person who is playing the other drum across the circle, or just feeling the pressure of life, can be heard too.
We are listening...
Help support our B.I.G. program HEART TO HAND.
Click HERE for the Article I read
Tim and I did our first Heart to Hand demonstration under the B.I.G. non-profit today in one our local schools (happily in my own child's classroom). The kids were so amazing and incredibly receptive to the idea of using the drums every day.
Listening to each child play the drum as they were passed around was breath-taking. Each child is so unique, yet, they all were able to come together in one circle and appreciate one another through these drums. The chaotic feelings and actions they had after their lunch and recess time had disappeared and you could actually watch each one clam their bodies and minds.
Tim and I were so happy they enjoyed it and even more happy to be able to leave these two drums behind in their classroom to be loved and enjoyed daily.
A HUGE thank you to our teachers of the classroom for their support and open minds!
If we are all connected kindly, we will eventually all be okay...
We are excited to announce, as of April 2, 2019, we have been approved for our Non-profit Status through the Vermont Secretary of State!
Tim and myself are beyond excited for our next steps and adventures for our newly formed Vermont Non-Profit! (Please excuse our new website, as we are still working out all of the kinks)
Working hard on our Heart to Hand program to get it launched and start funding to have our dream of 2 Singing Drums in EVERY classroom in EVERY school (Vermont and beyond!) come true!
Little Umbrella: Art Curation is also getting a lot of exposure and excited to be paired up with Main Street Landing to provide them with rotating art work, supporting our local Artists!
Please let us know if you would like to be involved with B.I.G. We have so many options that you can be involved with. Give to our Community- Care for our Future