I was watching my grandchildren one-day last week and one of the toys we have is a child’s drum with percussions. My Mom bought it for my granddaughter last Christmas. My granddaughter loves it. We had a good jam session with it. She loves music and dancing around. She smiles so big and dances endlessly. It is so joyful to watch.
Being a leadership and work-life balance coach, I am always looking for new ways to release stress and to share these different methods. A couple of years ago one of my good friends told me about drum circles she attended and that they relieve stress. I’ve been thinking about going to a drum circle for a while and wanted to try it out.
So the adventure began. I found a drum circle on www.meetup.com and signed up to go. I asked my husband if he would accompany me. (He really needed to release some stress!) He looked at me with apprehension and said what is it? I explained that a drum circle is where everyone beats on a drum. I wanted to check it out to see how it helps to reduce stress levels and possibly write a blog post about the experience. He was hesitant at first. I said, oh come on let’s make it an adventure. He said okay. 🙂
When we arrived, there were all different sizes of African drums to pick from. The instructor showed us how to hold the drums correctly. Both of us picked a tall drum to sit with between our legs to play. The participants sat in either chair or on a couch in a circle so we could see each other around the room. The instructor started hand drumming slowing with a hand rhythm and we would follow the pattern. Then she would slowly increase the pace for us to follow along.
My husband Tom was natural. He picked up playing the beats quickly. I was all over the place but was having fun banging on the drum. As the class went on, each one of us in the drum circle would start a beat and everyone else would follow. We even had one lady dancing around with a percussion towards the end. She was really enjoying herself and all of us like watching her dance around to the beat of the music. Some of the other participants would switch instruments by using different types of drums or percussions. Handheld drums, floor drums and assorted of percussions. Tom and I keep to the same drum. Towards the last few minutes of the drum circle event, I tried a percussion. It looks similar to a cheese grater but was shaped like a banana and raddled and had a rake to scrap the outside. I would shake it and rake it to make sounds to the beat of the drums. To be honest I wasn’t really to the beat of the music but I tried my best. Haha!
How was the experience?
I enjoyed it. I had to really concentrate on the hand movements to follow the rhythm.
Did it relieve stress?
Yes, I think it did. The sound of the vibrations and movement of hands took your mind off of everything but what was happening around you.
Would I do it again?
Definitely, I really did enjoy it. My hands hurt a little afterward but not for too long. I asked Tom his thoughts and he said maybe he would go again if it was closer to home and the timing was right. He didn’t think it really reduced stress but it surprised him that he had a talent he didn’t even know he had. He hadn’t played a musical instrument before.
My only regret was we didn’t take any photos while we were there to share with this post.
A drum circle was a way to be focussed and concentrate on the hand rhythm and beat of making beautiful sounds. It was an adventure of getting out of our comfort zone, trying something new, meeting different people and getting our minds off of everything else, except the sound and vibration of the music. Everyone should try something new and get out of their comfort zone every once in awhile. In my opinion, it was two hours well spent. ~Patti
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