In a world where there never seems to be enough time to get everything done, we tend to look toward the holidays as a break from the fast pace of the rest of the year. Holiday celebrations and gatherings with family and friends mark the successful end of yet another year, and what better way to really make a family gathering special than with a unique, family-generated rhythm.
Drumming has an ability to put people “in the moment” as they focus on a rhythm that is played with the hands. Forgetting the stresses and concerns of the day and focused solely on the task at hand, negative thoughts and worries simply fade away, replaced by the fun and enjoyment of making noise. When that very same activity is enjoyed by a group of people, the smiles and fun are contagious as the rhythms grow together, with each beat reflecting the personality of the person hitting the djembe or shaking a rattle. Plus, hand percussion instruments are perfect for the young and old, experienced musicians or the uncle who can’t carry a tune. A drum or shaker is perfect for a simple rhythm, yet, can eventually encourage a person to play the rhythm of his or her heart, or even get up and start dancing.
Much like any drum circle or drumming event, beating a rhythm on a djembe or bongos with friends and family can be a great way to reconnect with those you love. The shared memories of the past may bond people together, but, having an activity to share can be a step toward opening up an even stronger connection. Once the big meal has ended and people have recuperated from eating a little too much food, bring out a few drums and percussion instruments and watch how your family comes together in a new and exciting way.