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Facilitated Drum Circle

Drumming for Fun, Self Confidence and Group Connection

Facilitated Drum Circle

  • Gain confidence and enhance creativity

  • Release Stress

  • Increase Joy level and Feeling of contribution

  • Instills group cohesion

Perfect for:

◊ Corporate or Small Business Team Building 

◊ Group Problem Solving and Creativity Enhancement 

◊ At Risk Youth or other Challenged Populations 

◊ Any type of Party, Gathering, Celebration or Initiation 

 

Participants will learn the basics skills of rhythm and drumming and come away with a successful experience of co-creating music with the group, no matter what their initial level of ability. 

These Interactive rhythm events are a growing trend internationally for the purpose of:   

             - Stress reduction
            -  Therapy 
      
      -  Mental and Physical Exercise
             - Community Alliance and Socialization
             – Diversity Enhancement
  
          - Team and Creativity Building
    

My job is to create synergy through percussion instruments for developing personal esteem, while also promoting unity.  And at the same time, it’s a lot of fun!   Programs use a combination of African Djembe Hand Drums, shakers, scrapers, and blocks along with vocals and body percussion. 

       We have plenty of drums and rhythm instruments for even your largest group.  

 

In “The Healing Power of the Drum”  Robert Friedman,  writes about the compelling research and fascinating anecdotes from many drum facilitators. Their research demonstrates significant health benefits and transformational breakthroughs of hand drumming.

 

Friedman tells numerous real life stories of people who are transformed through the use of hand drums…., , At-Risk Adolescents, Stressed out employees,  people with Alzheimers, Vietnam Vets, Autistic Children, and just every day people needing a break from their linier lives.

 

Read about the substantiating RESEARCH HERE

 

 Find out what miracle hand drumming has in store
for you and your group! 

 

Your Facilitator:

Joy Freeman  has been drumming for 15 years. She has studied with African and middle eastern based drum teachers as well as trained in large group drum facilitation with Arthur Hull, known as the grandfather of public and corporate drum circles, Paulo Matioli, signature drummer for Remo Drums, and others.  She has led facilitated drum circles for workshops and various groups in the US, and Costa Rica.

joyfreeone (at) live (dot)com or   479-244-5469

 

  

What, Why and How Hand Drumming is a Miracle Transformer

Excerpted from The Healing Power of the Drum by  Robert Friedman

What types of people or conditions drumming works with:

Hand Drumming is fast becoming an instrument used by people of every age for personal transformation, psychological and physiological healing, and creating community. According to anecdotal reports and current research, the hand drum and its rhythms have been instrumental in improving illnesses and even psycho-emotional conditions where medical science had few answers.

Some of the psychological applications in which hand drums are used include assisting veterans to release the emotional pain of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, releasing the pent-up anger and negative emotions of “at-risk” adolescents, promoting health in corporate employees through releasing day-to-day stress, and assisting substance abusers in increasing their communication skills and social interaction.  Drums have also been used with a spectrum of major mental illnesses, such as manic depression and multiple personality disorder, to increase self-esteem and create feelings of accomplishment.

In the medical field, the hand drum is being used to help Alzheimer’s patients improve their short term memory and increase social interaction, to help autistic children increase their attention spans and even aid Parkinson’s patients and stroke victims to regain the control of moment or increase gaits.

As a drum facilitator and psychotherapist, I have personally witnessed the power of the drum to relax the tense, energize the tired and heal the emotionally wounded. I have also observed the hand drum’s extraordinary and consistent ability to create states of euphoria, induce trance, promote play, release anger and promote feelings of community and unity.

There is a burgeoning body of scientific research which verifies the drum’s abilities to promote well being.  And there are more and more facilitators, some of whom are trained counselors, who have much personal experience in using rhythm and drum to awaken feelings of joy, release pain, create feelings of connectedness and unification, a deeper connection to spirit, or the creation of a rhythm community – all possible through the beat of the drum.

Why and How it works :

1) The law of entrainment:  This is the tendency of objects moving in a similar pattern and tempo to align with one another. Said another way – entrainment is the tendency of people and objects to become synchronized with a dominant rhythm.  When a group of people play a rhythm for an extended period of time their brain waves become entrained to the rhythm, and they have a shared brain wave state. The longer the drumming goes on, the more powerful the entrainment becomes.  This is part of what creates the feelings of connectedness between people who may have even been quite distanced from each other previously.

Music, and in particular rhythm calls to our soul. It calls to the places that people have blocked – or the places that they can’t block.  That is why drumming works so well with addiction patients, (and those of other maladies),  it brings them into connection…the core wound that sends most people into addiction is a serious break in that human connection. And on some level, being a product of westernized culture, we all exhibit symptoms of this loss of connection, not only individually, but in our family and communities.   Entraining with others through the drum is a significant antidote to this culture related malady.

2) Induction of Alpha Brain Waves.

The latest scientific research into the functioning of the brain can measure the number of energy waves per second pulsing through the brain.  14 – 40 cycles per second –  beta waves are the most usual and run on the high end as a person is more mentally active or stressed.  When awareness shifts to internal focus, our brain slows down into the more rhythmical waves of alpha, vibrating at 7-14 waves per second.  Alpha is defined by relaxation and centering.  At 4-7 cycles per second, the brain enters the theta state in which there is an interfacing of conscious and unconscious processes. Theta is the source of sudden and mystical insights and creative solutions to complex situations and is marked by physical and emotional healing. This is often experienced at the edge of sleep.  Without special and intensive training, it is hard to stay awake in theta – one slips quickly down into delta.  This is the slowest brainwave frequency, 1 – 4 cycles per second found in deep sleep.

Landmark studies were done several decades ago by the scientist Dr. Andrew Neher. He attempted to test and explain the unusual behavior in drum ceremonies.  He focused on the effects of rhythmic drumming on the central nervous, finding that drumming could entrain his subjects’ brainwaves into the alpha or theta states.  Alpha brainwaves being associated with states of relaxation and general well being.

3) Hemispheric Synchronization

Most people these days understand that there is left brain (linier, logical, analytic) and right brain (creative, non-linear, heartful, emotional) thinking.  What is interesting to note is that while one hemisphere is dominant, the memories, skills, and information of the other hemisphere are far less available, residing in the subconscious or unconscious realm.  The left and right also operate in different brain wave rhythms – The right may be generating alpha waves while the left is in a beta state. Or both can be generating the same type brain waves, but remain out of sync with each other. However, in states of intense creativity, deep meditation or under the influence of rhythmic sound , both hemispheres may become entrained to the same rhythm.  This state of unified while brain functioning is called hemispheric synchronization or the awakened mind.

As the two hemispheres begin to resonate to a single rhythm, a sense of clarity and heightened awareness arises.  The individual is able to draw on both sides simultaneously. The mind becomes sharper, more lucid, synthesizing much more rapidly than normal, and emotions are easier to understand and transform. Insight quickens and creative intuition flourishes, giving one the ability to visualize and bring into manifestation ideas more easily. An expanded, more complete and integrated state of consciousness comes into existence. Scientists believe that hemispheric synchronization may be the neurological basis of transcendent states of consciousness.

Research has shown that rhythmic music is one of the most effective ways to induce brainwave synchronization.  (along with extended periods of toning or singing).

Musical comprehension is a joint function of the left and right brains (part of why the youth of this overly left brain culture are obsessed with their music, (I pods) to counterbalance it), and rhythmic sound can drive the brain waves into alpha or theta states.  Many ancient religious practices seem to have originated in attempts to induce the transcendental experiences of hemispheric synchronization.  Traditional drumming rituals appear to be efficient techniques for entraining right and left brains, leading to emotionally and physically healing experiences.

4) Non Verbal Expression

Drumming offers the possibility for being able to express what one is feeling with out using words.  The necessity to use words to express ones feelings can often inhibit that expression, either because the person is not conscious enough of what they are feeling or embarrassed, shy or have shame about it if they do know.  Friedman sites many examples of special populations like Vietnam Vets, angry at-risk youth, frustrated corporate execs or just regular individuals who have suffered loss or challenge, who have been significantly opened and moved through the ability to finally express their anger, sadness, or grief and sometimes even their unexpressed joy through the drum.

He sites how a verbal group is different from a drum group in dealing with challenged populations in that verbal groups don’t bring people together.  There is usually a leader, a therapist or counselor who speaks first and the others follow.  Where this does have merit, what happens in a drum group is that every one is playing together at the same time.  Each participant melds together in love and in joy through the drum. And they are supporting each other and working together to create something.  When a group is drumming together they get the euphoria of being in the moment together all working towards the same goal.  They become a team player, even those who would normally isolate.  This in itself is heart opening and healing.

Robert Friedman tells a story of one Vietnam vet, a substance abuser in a detoxification program who was more angry and resistant that all the others combined. But that once he became entrained with a rhythm and started to participate, he opened up and became  Friedman’s biggest supporter.  After a period of weekly sessions Robert states:

“My goals and objectives were reached with this man through the drum. It was through drumming that this patient showed an improved attitude and behavior, improved his social interaction, it promoted his self worth, increased his activities in group, his self expression, reality orientation and increased his over all communication.”

None of this could have occurred through talking alone as this man was too angry and shut down to speak.   Though this example was in a therapeutic setting, the release of emotions happens organically with out even conscious awareness, for anyone who partakes in a circle of drums.

4) Stimulation of the Limbic Brain

The limbic brain could be called our primal selves.  Ordinary thinking occurs in the frontal lobes – in the Cortex portion of our brains.  But rhythm is perceived in the cerebellum, which is part of the brain stem or limbic system.  Robert Friedman says it this way:  It awakens an aspect of ourselves that lies dormant until it hears an ancient calling through the rhythms of this healing vehicle.  These sounds awaken our spirits and speak to our most primal and truest selves.  Since the beginning of recorded time, rhythm has been used for entertainment, to create a sense of community, to define ritual space and to heal both physical and psychological maladies.

The soul is fed through turning our attention with in, through connecting with others at the heart, and through play and laughter.  The drum provides all of those needs.  The hand drum serves as a touchstone to our deepest nature.  It is both a symbol of spirit and a vehicle to transport us there.

The drum touches that part of us that knows nothing of cell phones, faxes and deadlines.  This part of us to which the drum speaks knows only inner peace, self expression, that which is our very basic life force. The more caught up in technology we are, the more we need to maintain a connection to nature.  Drumming can be an avenue to that connection.

Drumming creates an island in time, where all else is shut out except the rhythms that issue forth from your fingertips at your pace, expressing your feelings at that present moment.  And there-by putting you – “in the moment”.  A place we rarely visit in our harried times.    Is it any wonder our souls hunger for it? The only wonder is that a need so vital could be supplied by a vehicle so simple – the drum