When I first saw boomwhackers, I thought they looked silly, cheap and childish. Now, I believe they are the quickest to set up, most instantly colourful and best value-for-money corporate activity I know of. With nothing more than a big bag of simple plastic musical tubes, our expert facilitator can surprise, entertain and create a performance orchestra and change the potential of a group of any size.
But what do you do with them? Well, when hit together or with a hand, they each make a lovely mellow, breathy tone. Organised together, they can bring harmony, melody and rhythm to work with.
We create a boomwhacker orchestra performance, which has a theatrical introduction, a multi-layered middle section and, of course, a roof-raising finale. We normally suggest a duration of 45 minutes up to an hour in one room to do this, but, as ever, we offer flexibility. Sometimes, we get asked to do just a 10-minute meeting energiser or conference ice breaker or, occasionally, a two-hour session including breakouts.
If there are any concerns about noise at the venue, then boomwhackers are a perfect solution as they are relatively quiet.
Because these wonderful instruments are so portable and light, they are perfect for activities worldwide. You will often see our head facilitators checking in at airports with three or four bags, and the excess baggage is minimal, if anything at all. If any inquisitive tourist asks me what is in the bags, I often answer, “My wife just loves big hats!”
Since boomwhackers are so light, it only takes one facilitator to run a session.
Click on the video, below, to see one of our real-life boomwhacker events.
Being somewhat creative, we get asked all the time to come up with new options. We have created fun spoof introductions. You will see one of these on the video. In this case, as undercover facilitator, I was announced as being the next speaker on the agenda, as Professor Mark Hunter from St. Andrews University. I purposely started the world’s dullest lecture on dual cortex communication! Two minutes in, just as everyone was about to fall asleep, I burst out of character, dropped the boomwhackers on the floor and completely changed my personality.
Yes it was a shock and a great fun surprise but, more than that, I used it as a perfect example of how we can all adapt and change our environment.
In our boomwhacker activities, we use five different coloured tubes, each with their own pitch. Once distributed to our confused novice participants, we form five separate orchestra sections dispersed across the room. This means that, from the beginning, each person has to network, use eye contact and offer support to the others of the same colour all around them.
Ultimately, boomwhackers provide a fantastic fun activity.
While I still do believe that they look like silly childish plastic tubes, like anything else in life, it’s what you do with them that counts.
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