Housed in the same building, on the bottom floor, no less, as the Weber Grill Restaurant and a Panera Bread, Rhythm! Discovery Center in Indianapolis is a museum where just about all manner of percussion instruments can be explored.
Located at the Claypool Court Building, 110 W. Washington Blvd., Suite A, in downtown Indianapolis, Rhythm! Discovery Center is a lively museum that marches to the beat of its own drummer, or drummers, as it were. The center was founded by members of the Percussive Arts Society in 2009.
What to do at Rhythm! Discovery Center
School groups, families, adults are all welcome at Rhythm! Discovery Center. Visitors of all ages can discover just about everything they need to know about percussion instruments. From one of the largest cymbals in the world to the tiniest triangle, the gamut of musical pieces played by being struck is wide. The best part is, most of the instruments can be played by visitors.
Televisions depicting nations where some drumming conventions have come from play films allowing people to hear and see drum makers from around the world talk about rhythm and the drums of their nations.
One of the most invigorating aspects of Rhythm! Discovery Center is the drum circle. A staff person leads the group in getting familiar with the drum. Then, in some sequences, a visitor in the circle plays a rhythm and others repeat. This teaches the idea of call-and-response, and helps people to tap into innate musicality. Of course, at the end of a stressful day or semester, pounding a heavy, resonant drum by hand for a minute or so could be the best medicine for children and adults alike.
When to visit Rhythm! Discovery Center
With the holidays upon us, students of all ages will be taking a break from classes. Rhythm! Discovery Center is a good way to have something to do, while learning about, and engaging with the arts. For more information about scheduling a tour, programming, and admission prices and more, visit: https://rhythmdiscoverycenter.org/hours-and-admission/.
What to see at Rhythm! Discovery Center
The giant cymbal is a must-see and play. But there are exhibits that remind visitors that Rhythm! is actually a museum. One such exhibit is the collection of drum sets played by none other than the likes of Ginger Baker, Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, and others. For people fascinated by music history and the equipment used by some of popular music’s most notable drummers, this is one exhibit to spend some time with.
As if there were not enough elements to recommend Rhythm! Discovery Center, Mike Billingslea, who has played drums for Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, recommends the Center for “music enthusiast[s] and anyone who likes to hit things!”
If you cannot make it to the museum, there is an online collection. The digital collection features historic percussion instruments from around the world.