Music to spark a better life for older adults and preschoolers

Posts tagged ‘Drumming Circles’

Virtual Music Making

Technology is allows for some amazing things we only dreamed about fifty years ago – seeing each other while talking on the phone (Skype), computers in homes to provide information, talking on small hand-held devices (cell phones)… Advances have been made in many areas.One of my music therapy friends, Kat Fulton, even Skype’s drum circles.

Yesterday evening, one of my favorite contemporary compositions was released on YouTube with over 2,000 voices in this web created chorus.  If you haven’t heard the stories about the creation of the video, I encourage you to visit Eric Whitacre’s Website. There are maps to show locations of the singers, stories from the participants, and other bits of information.  Most important is the video itself. Please take a moment to enjoy this wonderful music.

I wonder what other musical joys await us in the future?

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Drum Circle Explained

Its drum circle week at Sterling House of Hays.  Here’s a wonderful video to explain the why while giving you insights as to what might be included.

So, keep the beat!  Have some fun expressing and relating “as you create sacred space”.

Why would I participate in a drum circle?

drum circle

Image by katiew via Flickr

This week I will hold drum circles at two assisted living facilities as well as include drumming activities in an intergenerational group.  When reading the various Music Therapy Blogs and websites, you are apt to encounter information on drum circles.  For some, this idea brings great joy while others questions why they would want to do such a thing.  Here are five reasons for participating in a drum circle.

  1. Drums are “ageless”. I mean this in two ways.  Drums are most likely the most ancient of instruments.  And, the drum doesn’t care about the player’s age.  My participants range in age from 18 mos. to 96 years.  My percussion equipment seems to respond equally to the participants regardless of their age.
  2. Being a musician is not required. Methods for playing are easy to adapt to the ability and skills of the participants.  A good facilitator, educator, or music therapist will guide you in the process.  Rarely is reading music or rhythms required in drum circles.
  3. It is an opportunity to interact and communicate often without words.  Drum Circle participants learn to listen and respond to each other as well as the person leading.  Self  expression opportunities can and exist with in the group.
  4. There are health benefits. Research has demonstrated participants have decreased stress levels.  Additionally, some studies demonstrate an increase in immune response.  Fine and gross motor activity is used for playing.  There is a level cardiovascular benefit to participants.
  5. Drumming is fun especially in a group setting.  Smiles and laughter are common in many of the groups I have led as well as have participated.  There is somethings special that happens as people begin to drum in the moment & in response to others.

See if a drum circle is offered in your community.  Learn more from on-line sources about drum circles from sites such as:

Happy drumming!

VIDEO: Mashup for Drumming with Older Adults: Ayub Opera

Here’s a wonder group drumming idea from Kat – a great music therapist.  VIDEO: Mashup for Drumming with Older Adults: Ayub Opera.  Drumming is great fun.  So, grab your friends and give it a try.

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