donderdag 15 januari 2015

Drumcircles according to Arthur Hull and others

In the words of Arthur Hull: “The Community Drum Circle is a fun entry-level learning experience that is accessible to anyone who wants to participate. Drum Circle participants express themselves collectively by using a chorus of tuned drums, percussion, and vocals to create a musical song together while having a great time.”

According to Mickey Hart: “The Drum Circle is a huge jam session. The ultimate goal is not precise rhythmic articulation or perfection of patterned structure, but the ability to entrain and reach the state of a group mind. It is built on cooperation in the groove, but with little reference to any classic styles. So this is a work in constant progress, a phenomenon of the new rhythm culture emerging here in the West.”

from the page Drum Circles Defined: What is a Drum Cicle


The Community Drum Circle is the use of a rhythm-based event as a tool for unity. It is NOT a drum class. It’s NOT using culturally-specific rhythms. A community drum circle in the United States is a fun, family friendly event, where people empower each other in the act of celebrating community and life through rhythm and music. People of all levels of musical expertise come together and share their rhythmical spirit with what ever drums and percussion they bring to the event. They don’t have to be a drummer to participate. Everyone has something to offer the circle, and any one is welcome.

The spirit and magic of rhythm expressed on drums and percussion instruments cuts through all ages, sexes, religions, races and cultures. “Rhythm”, as Gabriel Roth says, “is the mother tongue.” Rhythm is a universal language known to every one, even the youngest child, if we can just “remember.” So in a very objective, yet beautiful way, an interactive rhythm event puts us all on an equal footing with each other and brings us closer together. The facilitator serves this process by guiding the participants to their highest musical potential.

A community drum circle is created, “in the moment” by all the people who participate. Co-operation and collaboration is the basic glue. When we drum together, sharing our spirit in the form of rhythm, it changes our relationships. As we play together, we give ourselves a rhythmical massage and an emotional release. The experience is unique to each person in the circle, and it happens whether we are entraining ourselves into the circle by drumming, or standing outside the circle and listening while tapping our feet and clapping along with the music.

There are many places where drum circles are being used for many purposes, like….
• Teambuilding for corporations
• Empowerment  building for mens and womens groups
• Spirit building for spiritual growth and personal growth groups
• Synergizing and rhythm training for school/kids groups
• Stress and anger relief for kids- at-risk groups
• Orientation for college campuses and on-going circles for multi-cultural awareness.
• Family bonding for family night drum circles.
• Community building and market building for music stores.

To make beautiful music together, all we have to do is bring to the circle whatever rhythmical expertise we have to offer, along with the excitement of sharing it with other people. The quality of the music produced in an event like this is not based on the rhythmical expertise of the players, but on the quality of their relationship with the other people in the circle. The result is those magical musical moments where one powerful voice is created out of the many. In those moments, the players stop worrying about keeping time because time, as they know it, has stopped. In it’s place is a living breathing entity, expressing timeless joy, passion and release through the power of rhythm. That is the beauty of a community drum circle.

from the page Drum Circles Defined: What is a community Drum Circle
by Arthur Hull

What is a Drum Circle Facilitator?
By Christine Stevens & Arthur Hull
from the  Remo-site
“The facilitator’s role is to orchestrate a mixed group of people into a fully functioning and exciting improvisational percussion ensemble.”
–Arthur Hull

The term “facilitation” literally means “to make easy.” A facilitator’s main job is demonstrating rhythmic-EASE and empowering a group of people to experience the benefits of being in community and making music.

It’s like the Wizard of Oz. People travel to the drum circle expecting that the facilitator can magically bestow them with rhythm and talent. What they don’t always know or believe is that the rhythm is already within them. The group sometimes needs to believe there is a wizard in order to believe in themselves. They then begin their journey into the land of rhythmic expression. The facilitator’s job is to sense when leadership is needed and when to back off and get out of the way. The ultimate goal is to have the circle facilitate itself.
In today’s postmodern world, it’s no surprise that an entire profession is emerging of people facilitating drum circles for multiple purposes.  These people come from very different backgrounds, such as business, massage, social work, music therapy, music education, musicians, computer programmers, and more.  Most facilitators are either self-taught or they have attended a facilitation training workshop.

The facilitator understands the role of service and the non-performance aspect of the drum circle. They are not there to show off their personal playing talents. They are there to support the group’s experience creating an improvised song.

The facilitator has a unique combination of skills:
• Good musical sense and rhythmical playing ability.
• Good sense of group building skills.
• Good spiritual and personal development.

Successful facilitators utilize these skills in achieving the dual-purpose of the drum circle: developing the music and developing the sense of community


Dutch translations available at 

from Village Music Circles by Arthur Hull

What is a facilitated community drum circle?
A facilitated community drum circle is a fun, family-friendly rhythm event. Participants express themselves by playing on a chorus of tuned drums and hand percussion. They create a musical song together, while being guided by a rhythm event facilitator. These community drumcircles are accessible to all ages and all levels of rhythmical expertise, including beginners.
At community drumcircles, participants make in-the-moment music, expressing their collective rhythmical spirit. A community drumcircle is NOT a drum class.
When a community comes together to drum they unite in rhythm and harmony to celebrate life. Their interactions create a supportive, interdependent relationship. In a community drumcircle, we value each person for his or her unique contribution to the group song.
The facilitator is a guide, whose intention is to create community through group rhythmical empowerment. They are there to help facilitate the groups collaborative musical effort.

Why do people drum?
People go to drum circles because they have discovered that rhythmical expression is an important aspect that has been missing from their lives. Drumming awakens them to self-discovery and helps them to see the world with the eyes of a child. Drumming affects each person differently, stimulating creative expression, as the explore, experience and express the rhythms of their lives. Although people drum for musical expression, to reduce stress and to create community, most people come to community drum circles for the pure fun of it.

Which people drum?
All kinds of people drum. Children in schools, well elderly, corporate executives and health care practitioners drum.  Physically challenged men and women, people in prison, and kids at risk drum. Men, woman and children of all ages participate in rhythm based events.
Men's groups and woman's groups each use drum for ritual bonding and empowerment for their genders. Spiritual groups use drums as part of their worship

Dutch translations available at

Beenhakkers Slagwerk / Percussion Beenhakkers

drumcircles & communicatie-trainingen / communication trainings
energizers boomwhackers & clappy-happy
stem-happening & stem-bevrijding / voice happening & voice-liberation workshops percussie / workshops percussion
voor bedrijven, trainingen en groepen / for companies, training and groups

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