A woman with long, curly gray hair and a hand-dyed t-shirt pushed a cart into the room that was now filled with girls. On the cart, I could make out various rhythmic instruments like bongos, tamborines, egg shakers, mallets...
It was quite obvious as to what we were about to do.
As I expected, the lady introduced herself as a music therapist and called today's activity a rhythm circle. On a tall bongo, she'd start a particular rhythm and everyone would slowly add in according to where they sat at the circle. Instead of handing out the equipment, unfortunately, the woman told everyone to run up to the cart and grab what they wanted.
Instantly, several girls shot out of their seats to snatch a drum. Of course, when you are not familiar with a certain subject, you would instinctually search for the most recognizable objects, and so the small hand drums and mallets were gobbled up first leaving behind a plethora of red and white shakers.
Some girls -- namely, a rather boistrious round girl who seemed to be the center of attention since last night -- managed to grab two mallets and smugly tapped their drums with them. Makayla, being one of the girls who raced up to the cart, came back with an aggrieved expression with a mallet but no drum in her hand.
The hippie-looking woman noticed the disparity but did not reprimand the girls, instead lifting a helpless smile and getting up to pass out the smaller things to the shy girls, including myself.
Oh, I've only just realized that this entire time, I've been refering to all of the patients here as girls. In fact, there were a few such as myself who did not appear to be of any specific type, but to me that is only natural, and so I neglected to mention it. I apologize.
Once everyone had something in hand, the room quieted. Even the girls who whispered and covered their faces with their bangs had paused in their snickering in anticipation for the woman's beat.
Bum pa, bum pa, bum pa pa;
Bum pa, bum pa, bum pa pa;
I gripped the egg shaker in my hand tightly. All of the excitement of creating an interesting beat filled my head until I could barely breathe. You should know, although I enjoy making music and playing different kinds of instruments, I am not particularly skilled at organic rhythms. Rhythm, for those who are unaware, are integral to music making because it can easily control the feel, or the groove, of a piece. You can have an interesting chord progression without such things, but you can't have an interesting song without a charateristic rhytm.
So yeah, I'm nerding out.
The egg in my hand, despite its size, can harshly cry out a shi shi sound since it has those little beans on the inside like a maracas. I felt no fear in standing out amongst the half-hearted thumps of my peers, and easily sunk into the beat.