Joining a drum circle can be an exciting time for any drummer, whether a drum circle newbie or a professional musician, regardless of one's knowledge of music or ability to drum. A drum circle is an event or gathering that promotes several types of connections between communities of people, as well as connections to music and rhythm. Not all drum circles have the same purpose, and the experience of drumming within a circle is directly related to the type of drum circle attended.
Drum circles typically fall into three different types: facilitated drum circles, healing drum circles and open drum circles. Facilitated drum circles are organized drumming events that can take place in a corporate environment, school or at a therapeutic center. These drum circles are used to help strengthen bonds between co-workers, students or those with disabilities who can benefit from the strong ties and connections created through drumming. Facilitated drum circles are also becoming quite popular at community events, where a drum circle facilitator captures an audience through drumming instruction and encouragement.
Healing drum circles can occur in therapeutic environments, as well as in small group settings where health and wellness exercises are the ultimate goal. A healing drum circle revolves around the concept of a healing “intention,” where all members are focused on creating energy and focus that helps to heal each other, or even areas and populations around the world. In the therapeutic environment, a healing drum circle has been known to help with a wide range of mental, physical and emotional disorders by not only connecting the participants through the act of drumming, but also promoting wellness through the power of music and rhythm.
Open drum circles are possibly the most well-known type of drum circles. These events are social, inviting people within a community to join the fun, make friends, and leave the circle feeling a little bit empowered through the experience. People from all musical backgrounds, or even no experience with music, are able to pick up a Djembe, shaker, tap a foot to the rhythm or get up a dance to the beat.
Not all drum circles are created equal, and the right drumming environment can have a lasting effect on the lives of everyone who attends. Whether a facilitated drum circle, healing drum circle or open drum circle, the act of drumming with others in a polyrhythmic beat is one of the most memorable, life-enhancing experiences possible.