You have your wonderful new drum! You have even taken some lessons from a teacher and can lay down some pretty cool beats. What happens next? You could join a band if there is a group looking for a new drummer; or if there isn’t a group available, you can join a Drum Circle.
A Drum Circle is pretty much what it sounds like: a group of people —in a circle— playing drums. Usually they employ various Hand Drums, but other types of drums are typically welcome. People gather into these groups for a variety of reasons including group therapy, spiritual tuning, physical therapy, and artistic collaboration. They gather in small groups and large groups. Sometimes they have definitive leaders or facilitators; other times there is simply a collective spirit.
Today, it has been never been easier to find a Drum Circle near you. There has been a recent increase of awareness of Hand Drumming and the wealth of benefits drumming offers. Look toward community and cultural centers in your area to see what programs might already exist. Another resource for finding a Drum Circle would be to find your local music organization (City Bands, Symphonies, etc). There are Percussive Arts Society chapters scattered all over the country; find your local chapter. All these groups can either point you towards groups they sponsor or groups that their members are familiar with.
The internet is also a powerful tool to find common interests with people in your area. A quick browsing on your favorite search engine will yield a plethora of results. A great resource is meetup.com which is a social site dedicated to creating events where people literally meet up. Drum circles are a wildly popular event on this site. After exhausting these options, and you still have not found a Drum Circle to join; then, it falls to you to start your own. This can be a rewarding experience where you can connect with like-minded people, learn new techniques, and find the joy of playing in a group environment. With the increasing familiarity of hand drums and the drumming culture, you will be amazed by who might have also been looking to join a Drum Circle.
Once you find or create a Drum Circle, remember that the point of a Drum Circle is more often than not about the collective expression of the moment. Be respectful of the other members and adhere to any established rules or expectations to keep the harmony strong. Now get to it!!