Article by: Jessica Bishop
Photography by: Rachel Verplank
Located right in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana the Rhythm! Discovery Center is best described as an interactive percussion museum.
The Rhythm! Discovery Center is a creative project by the Percussive Arts Society, a “music service organization promoting percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world.”
Right when you walk in through the brightly colored walls you can instantly hear various banging and gong sounds followed by giggles of excited children.
Immediately located within the open doors in a desk filled with a friendly, smiling staff and a place to hang up your coats. Equal parts fun and informative, the Rhythm! Discovery Center has something for everyone.
Beautiful displays of antique drums are located throughout the museum, including several war drums in an exhibit called “No Drummers, No Direction.” Interactive t.v. displays offered history lessons that keep kids engaged and wanting to learn more. Children could be seen approaching the drums with a cautious curiosity and a look the read “am I really allowed to make all the noise I want?”
The children weren’t the only ones delighted by all the musical mayhem. Adults and even the grandparents were just as delighted to take a swing at the multiple drums that were made available for playing throughout the building.
The Rhythm Discovery Center thought of everyone, and included a secluded corner devoted to the youngest of future drummers of the world. The area offered several giant fluffy pillows that adults could rest on while their toddlers enjoyed the wild rhythmic chaos created by the random bongos and shakers strewn across the floor.
Just across from there were two sound proof rooms, each outfitted with their own drum kit where you got to feel like a real rock star in a recording studio.
Toward the center of the building was a large circle of drums. Every Saturday at both 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. the Rhythm! Center hosts an interactive drum circle for all ages.
Another area of the museum held several electronic drum kits, with attached headphones so the children could hear themselves making music alongside of several famous drum kits, including one from Rush’s own Neil Peart.
The Rhythm! Discovery Center is by far the most fun my kids have had in a learning environment in the longest time. If you have any little music lovers of your own, or just feel like banging on some drums for a few hours I highly recommend taking the trip down to Indianapolis to see (and play) everything they have to offer.
You can check out their website at RhythmDiscoveryCenter.org for more information as well as a virtual tour of the facility.