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
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
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 http://beenhakkers.nl/wat-is-een-drum-circle/
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,
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
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.
groups and woman's groups each use drum for ritual bonding and
empowerment for their genders. Spiritual groups use drums as part of
Dutch translations available at http://beenhakkers.nl/gemeenschaps-drumcircle-volgens-arthur-hull/
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