This is one of our favorite projects in our #20YearsofHustle.
Back in 2018, a client reached out to us to see if we’d be interested in a unique project to help some very deserving kids have fun and discover music.
They needed some help with a new sensory-inclusive playroom for kids with Autism inside Canopy Children’s Solutions in Jackson, Mississippi.
Of course we jumped at the chance to help!
The Autism Clinic encompasses a collaborative program that brings together research, technology and empirically supported therapies.
The clinic also features a custom-built, sensory-friendly playroom that provides positive reinforcement incentives and multi-sensory learning through a combination of texture, light, and sensory elements.
Each drum was designed with the children’s challenges in mind (which, in-turn, presented a new set of challenges for us).
The drums would be wall mounted but still playable; there could not be be any sharp edges exposed; the drums themselves had to be enticing enough on their own that a kid would want to run over and hit it; the volume had to be significantly reduced; and the drums had to be interactive in some way. The client also requested a natural, earthy look.
Our solution? We designed these drums to meet all of the above requirements, and the kids loved them!
The 14in-diameter drums were designed with no sharp edges. Clean and sleek.
For the natural look the clients requested, we chose natural maple. The drums themselves (built by Calderwood Percussion) featured custom-made, low-profile wooden hoops with recessed tuning bolts, and we included included some special tweaks to allow for wall-mounting on-site.
For a fun, interactive effect, we outfitted each drum with Drumlite LEDs. A special sensor triggered the RGBW light strips inside the shell when the drum head or drum hoop was struck. A wireless remote was included so each drum could be set to a different color as desired. I mean…light up drums? How cool is that?!?
Obviously, drums are LOUD, so the volume-reduction issue was a tough one! We managed to reduce the playing volume significantly with the combination of drumhead choice, Promark Tubz (hollow, plastic tubular “sticks”), and a special wall-mounting method on-site.
The icing on the cake? We printed a unique vibrant, colorful pattern on each drumhead using our Direct Print method. (I bet you didn’t know we offered custom batter heads, huh?) While this environment puts our printing to the test, we’re confident these prints will last the long haul!