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Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em: Drum Circles are Here to Stay!

24th Jun 2014

For many, a drum circle is a sacred time where the cares of daily living are given up in search of deeper meaning through rhythm and community. These events are likened to therapy for many, allowing a release of stress, tension and anxiety, while inviting the mindfulness that only drumming can provide. But, as many drummers know, there is also a stigma to drum circles, especially from those who have not felt the benefits of community drumming. What is a drummer to do when friends, family (and complete strangers!) have negative comments about these beloved events? Simply put: we just keep drumming.

As drum circles originated through “hippie” counter culture from the 1960’s, the negative stereotype of a drum circle has been embedded in the views of the new Millennium. Conservative beliefs of that time denigrated the anti-war, anti-establishment ideals that many held, and the hippies were held in a negative light, as were the drums. Since drums were historically used as devices for communication, the “annoyance factor” of drum circles in a politically-charged era further served this stereotype, which is still evident today. 

Fortunately, for drum circle participants today, the support of group drumming and drum circles continues to grow through positive word-of-mouth experiences and through evidence-based results in therapeutic and academic settings.

Providing a means for creative expression, stress and anxiety reduction, and a means for connecting with others, drumming and drum circles keep growing in acceptance and attendance each day. Without a drum, or a venue for group drumming, the rhythm of the earth that we all share would be forever lost in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. As many disbelievers find, once a drum circle is experienced, the beat of the drum is one that encourages the goodness in us all. This, in itself, is enough reason to keep sharing the magic of drumming and rhythm.

What are some of the best and worst things you’ve overheard (or have been told) about drum circles?