29th Oct 2014

What is a Drum Circle?

In a park, on the beach or within hospitals, schools and libraries, drum circles are becoming a popular way for people to join together through the power of music and rhythm. Drumming and drum circles are not modern inventions, but a tribute to ancient rituals, celebrations and cultural events that continue to forge bonds within tribes and communities around the world. These community-based events bring diverse people together with assorted percussion instruments, providing a landscape for mutual understanding, personal connections, art and fun.

For drum circle participants, the benefits of a drum circle are varied. Drum circles can establish neighborhood and community ties, providing social interaction and networking in a casual, creative environment. Others may drum as a way to connect with ancestry, especially through the use of drums like the Djembe, Cajon or Bongos. Professional and hobby musicians and drummers can appreciate the art of a spontaneous, rhythmic celebration full of opportunity for improvisation, creativity and education.

Drum circle rhythms

The benefits of a drum circle can go beyond the community and can help with health, education and collaboration within various organizations. Hospitals, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers use drum circles in order to provide music therapy to patients. Schools help encourage academic performance and reduce behavioral issues through drumming. Businesses and corporations host team-building drum circles and drumming events in order to encourage cooperation among employees.

Drums and percussion instruments can be used by anyone, regardless of age, music experience, and mental, emotional or physical disability. Senior citizens with limited mobility can beat a simple rhythm on a drum, shake a rattle or benefit just from the drum circle song itself. Children are able to play percussion instruments in a drum circle to rhythmically illustrate an inner rhythm that expresses motivation and emotion. The non-verbal communication possible through music and drumming can reach those with autism, hearing impairments, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The benefits of drum circles are as unique as each individual participating. These harmonious events allow creative expression and provide opportunity for establishing and strengthening ties in communities, as well as tap into the healing benefits of music and rhythm.