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Wanta are proud to have implemented a musical program called ‘Rhythm 2 Recovery’ in to some of our communites. So far, we are delivering Rhythm to Recovery in Kalkaringi, Lajamanu, Ngukurr and Beswick. Those academy directors have been attending specialised training to deliver this program confidently and effectively.

Based on the latest neuro-science research, Rhythm2Recovery delivers therapeutic programs that utilise fun and engaging rhythmic musical activities to support social and emotional development. This evidence based approach has been shown to support increased emotional regulation, improved social connection and reduced levels of anxiety and other elements of psychological distress.

In particular, one of our sports academies in Kalkaringi have been delivering Rhythm 2 Recovery to the students of Kalkaringi School for the past two and a half years. These weekly sessions aim to deliver fun, engaging rhythmic activities that aid students to build their confidence, trust, and address other important issues such as identity, emotions and even bullying. The students really look forward to these sessions and our Kalkaringi Academy Director, Ellie Simmons, says “the results cannot be disputed with the smiles that leave the room and the development seen after just one session”.

In the weekly 30-45 minute sessions, groups of up to twelve students get to drum their hearts out – releasing anxiety and stress through rumbles as well as learning to listen to and work with their peers in paired and group work. Changing rhythms, speed, and volume keeps the kids on their toes and ultimately the sessions provide something completely different that they don’t usually get from regular school lessons. Ellie says “I find it amazing to see students who don’t want to even sit in the circle nor touch a drum at the start of the session, finish thirty minutes later with the confidence to develop their own rhythms in front of everyone”.

We are proud to announce that our Northern Region academies are also starting to introduce this engaging activity to their Wanta programs following their recent training. Wanta staff from the northern academies attended the Rhythm 2 Recovery training in Darwin where they learned about the Djembe drum and basic rhythms. They learned that you don’t have to be master drummers and that the drums can be tools to help address topics surrounding mental health and building emotional intelligence.

Throughout the training, our staff learned how to play rhythms, create music and incorporate fun, interactive games that will engage our students. Prav Kalaivanan, our Wanta Regional Manager, said “it was a challenge for our staff and a step out of their comfort zone learning how to drum, but they banged the drums with a lot more confidence towards the end of training, especially our local indigenous staff members”.

Our directors returned back to their respective communities with some new skills and excitement, ready to implement the Rhythm to Recovery Program with confidence into their programs. We can’t wait to see more kids drumming away!