Bank Holiday Monday, 4 days B.R. (before Ronnie!)
Just because I am utterly passionate about RGRM, doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be. But I still get a thrill when someone ‘gets’ RGRM, when their eyes light up and they say something like “that’s brilliant, it could be used for …STROKE REHAB…PARKINSON’S…CHILDREN…MUSIC TEACHING…SPECIAL NEEDS…AUTISM…AGEING (they provide the condition)”.
Like yesterday, talking to my friend Yvonne, a reception teacher, who I’ve been trying to get to meet Ronnie Gardiner since he first started coming to the UK 18 months ago. I showed her a home-video clip of Ronnie lecturing to the Royal College of Music percussion students in May (see link below) – and she suddenly said: “but Lee, this is great! I could use it with my Receptions to teach them about rhythm – and to improve their physical co-ordination!” (I stopped myself retorting “that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you since last year”, it doesn’t go down well!). She’s now trying to get CPD leave for next week! otherwise, she’s registering on my weekly course starting next March.
So what’s RGRM, and why am I passionate about it?
It’s a form of physical therapy, and it’s unique because it brings many different things together. It uses music & rhythm, speech, sound and movement, which means, it stimulates the body and brain simultaneously. It requires both cognition and creativity, so that both sides of the brain are activated simultaneously and required to work together across the corpus collosum (we teach basic understanding of brain function as well). Both body and brain get a good workout! Because the brain is plastic, and it can continue to grow and learn new things for our whole life, the right kind of activity may ‘heal’ even a brain damaged by Stroke, Parkinson’s, or brain injury. RGRM’s unique syncretism has the power to help brains heal. A modest little goal.