How Drumming Lead Lisa Jean Newell to the Life of Her Dreams

Lisa Jean Newell plays djembes, doun duns, and other world hand

drums, which she uses to connect with and help heal others. Photo

by Kayla Rice from

Lisa Jean Newell knew at a young age that she wanted to help people. The path called to her after volunteering to help elderly people at a local hospital. She also knew at a young age that drumming would be a part of that path. Newell became obsessed with drumming, as she felt it was a healing, meditative tool that could help her connect with herself and others.

It wasn’t until Lisa dropped out of college to embark on a vision quest in Hawaii at the age of 19 that her goals became clear - that she would help people through drumming. Having practiced reiki since the age of 18, Newell knew that the energy in her hands could help heal people, so she spent two years “fine tuning listening and giving with [her] hands,” as she told the Brattleboro Reformer, one of her local newspapers.

Upon moving to Brattleboro to join her friends’ band, Newell headed off to Africa to truly understand the instrument and the rhythms she was playing. She spent six weeks on Goree Island learning traditional African rhythms from a drum teacher she met almost as soon as she’d arrived. Newell spent the next two years visiting Goree Island and developing mental health and counseling skills in Brattleboro.

After combining her mental health and counseling skills, reiki skills, and drumming skills while attending the Barbara Brennan School of Healing in Miami, Newell started her own trauma therapy practice, through which she uses a body-based approach to helping clients resolve trauma in their lives. And, of course, she teaches drumming and even plays in an all-women percussion group called Gaia Roots.

Learn more about Newell and how rhythm and drumming guided her to the life of her dreams at

28th Oct 2014

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