Want some fun? Try Rhythm! Discovery Center

Proof that Indianapolis has true entertainment value to offer

Anyone whoever said that Indianapolis is boring could not be more wrong.

I visited the Rhythm! Discovery Center in downtown Indianapolis last week and it is a one-of-a-kind interactive museum that revolves around anything percussion.  Located at the corner of Washington and Illinois street, the hands-on experience there is similar to that of the Children’s Museum.

As a percussionist here at Ben Davis, I already had a draw to the drum museum; however, the beauty of it is anyone could walk in from the street and immediately be immersed and welcomed into a melting pot of musical culture.

Visitors are instantly greeted by an eight-foot drum (bigger than the legendary Purdue drum) as the idea of sound is introduced to the patron.  I was very impressed at the way the museum is geared towards anyone. It really explains every aspect and progression of how percussion works.

The center has a very educational and welcoming feel to it; not intimidating in the least.  Some of the roots and different platforms for percussion instruments are then explored and explained, all the while there are interactive instruments to play and experiment with for a truly hands-on and memorable experience.

We entered the main clinic area where groups have their very own drum circle lead by one of the staff members.  Plenty of chairs and a variety of instruments scattered the circle, all just waiting to be played by the next curious patron.

On the outskirts of the circular room was an interesting mini exhibit on the Leedy Drum Company, which was founded and operated out of Indianapolis.  Leedy was an early innovator and producer in the percussive world and the exhibit offers a tangible tie between the city and percussion history.

The Leedy display led seamlessly into the main exhibit at the center — DRUMset: Driving the Beat of American Music.  The entire exhibit shows the evolution of drum sets with every stop along the way. This is an educational experience even for someone already in the percussion world.

Featuring actual drum kits from bands such as Led Zeppelin and Rush to recording artists who played on the Michael Jackson Thriller album, this presentation left me star struck and stunned.  A true trip through time, this part of our tour was exciting and educational, flowing very well and being completely logical.

As our guide answered our final questions and said goodbye, we were left in what I consider the highlight of the museum — the interactive area.  This is where the line between kids and adults blurs as everyone has the opportunity to experience playing an instrument they have never seen before.  Walls lined with a plethora of instruments coupled with two high tech practice rooms filled with even more instruments leave plenty of opportunity for everyone to find something they are interested in.

Fun for all ages, the Rhythm! Discovery Center appeals to every walk of life.  The center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Entry is only $6 for students with an ID (sure beats paying for a movie ticket) and $9 for adults.  More information is available at http://rhythmdiscoverycenter.org/.