Drumming has the ability to take you on a journey of pure bliss
Approval from others is dampening rhythmical spirit
I remember when I first started out learning how to facilitate drum circles, or as they say ‘in the moment music-making’. A drum circle facilitator requires way more than just knowledge of rhythm and drumming. It requires a deep insight to you the facilitator and how people interact with one another in that moment in time. Knowledge of flow and energy within the circle, and how each drum circle presents amazing opportunities for positive group experiences is just one element of being a facilitator.
Any way I digress. With big drum circles the facilitator normally facilitates in the middle of the circle. When I started learning skills of facilitation, I was petrified of going into the middle and making any mistakes. I probably looked like a deer in headlights. The feeling of failing was driving me to keep everything in a safe place, therefor missing opportunities of what was going on in real time in the circle. At the time I desperately wanted my teacher’s approval.
I’ve gotta say I’m way more relaxed these days… maybe I’m getting older and less concerned with what others think of me. The freedom of being myself and trusting in the process and yes there will be learning moments. Actually, I love learning. My approach to improvement and learning new skills is stepping out of the comfort zone and going for it. This mindset is a huge element in my drum circle facilitator trainings.
Teacher of the day a 4 year old
A few weeks ago, I facilitated a small community drum circle for young children and their parents. There was this one boy in particular who court my eye. While everyone in the circle were having fun and playing their parts, this boy was going for it, having fun, sharing his rhythmical spirit and playing with total freedom. At this point I was gob smacked at the amazing polyrhythms this boy was playing… and he’s only 4 years of age!
I loved his energy and passion, so I continued to encourage his playful spirit. However, his mum was concerned that he was disrupting the session, she couldn’t hear the amazing rhythms her son was playing. But the sheer joy on his face, I thought gave it away. Unfortunately, she tried to control her sons playing, to fit in with everyone else and was fed up and decided to leave early because of this (maybe she was having a bad day). No, no. I jumped out of my seat and went over to her and chatted about how her son has talent and maybe get him into more music play groups. She just rolled her eyes…
Maybe you could relate to the young boy? Has anyone told you to stop sharing your creative spirit?
Drum like no one is watching
I understand when students struggle to make up their own rhythms in the drum circle or to improvise on a taught hand drum rhythm in drum classes. However, teach a student a rhythm on the djembe, no problems, but ask to improvise on that rhythm… there’s that look in their eyes – deer in headlights moment.
I have plenty of student resources where you can build confidence and learn how to drum and explore creativity to enhance rhythmical expression.
I understand the fear of making mistakes or not fitting in with everyone else, I see it all too many times in my drumming workshops. As a mentor and teacher I encouraging students to step out of the comfort zone, keep exploring, let your rhythmical spirit be free. Drum like no one is watching.
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Thanks so much for your love and support, it means a lot and inspires me to continue helping people like you.
You can download the meditative music to help boost personal wellbeing at Energise Your Life album.
A little gift for you as you continue to build your djembe drumming skills.
I want to help you out as much as I can so I’ve added some great hand drum beats for beginners and ensemble drums that accompany the djembe, called 7 Easy Steps to Develop Rhythm, Technique, Timing and Feel ebook. It’s filled with lots of tips on technique and how to improve your timing and feel, to really take your playing to the next level.
This is my gift to you and something that can accompany you on your drumming journey.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. If you like this post please leave a comment below and share by clicking the button at the bottom of this page, many good wishes, Peta.
Thank you to Erriko Boccia for the main photo.