I think I have the most amazing luck in finding super spirited musicians, social activists and community all in one place. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the School of Honk and the wonderful atmosphere of learning, music making and pure joy that happens each and every time we meet. I came upon the School of Honk with their open invitation to play and as an active member of the Honk Festival (formerly playing Surdo with AfroBrazil) I have always been super excited by the HONK Festival! Prior to that I studied West African drumming in Chicago and have drummed with the Batucada Belles, Rhythm Revolution (Chicago) Women Spirit Drummers (Chicago) SheDrums (Chicago), etc. well you get the idea.
Not only do I believe in the absolute healing power of music and community, there is scientific evidence that now backs this up! As a mental health therapist, I’ve worked with children in a mental health setting developing a therapeutic drum curriculum. I also have a documentary that needs to be finished “Drum On” about the New England drumming community. For about 17 years I have been a part of these music making communities and it has changed my life in the most positive way. I have met the most interesting, genuine, intelligent, funny, creative, cool, fun people of all ages and all walks of life and feel very fortunate. I am so glad that School of Honk exists, as it fulfills a need we all have to belong. Learning to play songs with instruments other than drums is new for me and I like that. I am new to the repinique and hope to learn snare as well. I wore my thumbs quite a bit with all the over use, so it’s been a slow recovery but School of Honk was there when I could only play with one hand and welcomed me with two.
My Dad was a jazz drummer and I imagine him watching us and swinging, especially when people solo- he would love that. He used to blast his jazz music and it drove us kids crazy, “turn that music down Dad!” But now, I GET it. I don’t have any real formal training, can’t read music and sometimes my hands won’t do what I want them to do, but as Kevin says every week “we don’t worry about wrong notes, we are just here to have fun” and I do.