drum circle

Image by katiew via Flickr

This week I will hold drum circles at two assisted living facilities as well as include drumming activities in an intergenerational group.  When reading the various Music Therapy Blogs and websites, you are apt to encounter information on drum circles.  For some, this idea brings great joy while others questions why they would want to do such a thing.  Here are five reasons for participating in a drum circle.

  1. Drums are “ageless”. I mean this in two ways.  Drums are most likely the most ancient of instruments.  And, the drum doesn’t care about the player’s age.  My participants range in age from 18 mos. to 96 years.  My percussion equipment seems to respond equally to the participants regardless of their age.
  2. Being a musician is not required. Methods for playing are easy to adapt to the ability and skills of the participants.  A good facilitator, educator, or music therapist will guide you in the process.  Rarely is reading music or rhythms required in drum circles.
  3. It is an opportunity to interact and communicate often without words.  Drum Circle participants learn to listen and respond to each other as well as the person leading.  Self  expression opportunities can and exist with in the group.
  4. There are health benefits. Research has demonstrated participants have decreased stress levels.  Additionally, some studies demonstrate an increase in immune response.  Fine and gross motor activity is used for playing.  There is a level cardiovascular benefit to participants.
  5. Drumming is fun especially in a group setting.  Smiles and laughter are common in many of the groups I have led as well as have participated.  There is somethings special that happens as people begin to drum in the moment & in response to others.

See if a drum circle is offered in your community.  Learn more from on-line sources about drum circles from sites such as:

  • Health Rhythms – Remo has links to articles, information about drum circles, and lots of drums
  • Rhythm Web – Lots of resources.
  • Rhythm for Good – Kat has great information for Music Therapist & others.
  • Upbeat Drum Circles – Christine has a site full of links, resources & ideas.

Happy drumming!

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