This was a wonderful drum circle to celebrate Earth Day at Honeymoon Island.
The beauty of it was that it was a blend of our general community, and a special needs group, all together jamming.
We had a blast being up on the big stage drumming out some great rhythms, and engaging a huge crowd to join in with us.
(Please note that as of 2013, I no longer live in Florida. I live in St. Louis, MO. now.)
A key part of the intent of groups that are oriented toward those with physical and/or mental restrictions is finding ways
to bring them into general society as much as possible. It has been my experience that drum circles are an excellent
path to this goal. This is the kind of work I believe I was put on this earth to do. Working with special needs individually,
or in groups touches my heart very deeply, especially when I get home and have some time to reflect on the experience.
With this particular group, after a few drum circles at their facility, I invited them to a public drum circle at a cafe where
I was hosting a weekly drum circle. They were comfortable drumming with me at that point, and it worked out great.
Months later, when I was asked to host an Earth Day drum circle show on the big stage, I asked the staff and them if
they would like to drum at this event. They jumped at the chance. Sure it was a little risky, but that's what life is
about. Taking chances. We played for over an hour and a half, the crowd didn't want us to stop, two encores and
everything. It was like a dream come true. I was booked for 45 minutes, but it was going so well the organizers
asked us to keep going, so we did. All of this happened in less than 6 months. It just kind of all fell together.
The crowd never even knew there was a special needs group playing with the general public. The group was thrilled
because for one of the first times in their lives they were just seen as regular people, and not as "special".
Read some more about my working with special needs groups, and people with disablilities on my blog post.
It's rather long, (10 pages) but there's a lot of helpful info, and some tips that may help you.
I'm not a licensed medical practitioner, and I have no medical degree in music therapy. However I do have extensive
experience working 1 on 1, or with groups teaching drumming to children & adults with ADHD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral
Palsy, Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Neurologically Injured Individuals, and more. If you live around St. Louis, please
contact me for a drum circle, lesson, or having a drumming program. No contracts, one lesson at a time.
Hear some drum circle audio while viewing a short video slide show of the whole event. Thanks to Les D. and all
the others who contributed all these great photos that caputured the festive fun of the day. Just click below.
Hope you enjoyed the photos of the event. Please email me with any questions. I never share email addresses.
If your group would like to have a facilitated drum circle, contact me at: drumcircles_net(at)hotmail.com
The thing some don't understand about drum circles, is that it's more about the people, than it is the drumming.
Many facilitators agree with me on this, some don't. The quality of the music produced in a drum circle isn't
really based on the musical experience of the players, but on the developing quality of the relationships of
the people that emerge. As a facilitator I help people to empower themselves through drumming, music, and fun.
They need no experience at all to play in a drum circle. I encourage individual creativity, and group dynamics.
The proceeds from the sales of my drumming CD's, DVD's, and drum circle book helps me to do this kind of work in
our community. I try to provide them at as reasonable a cost as possible. As an independent artist, money is
tight, so I always appreciate a product that is a good value for the cost. That's the idea behind my book, CD's & DVD.
Thanks in advance for helping us out with drum repairs, and expenses. (Please scroll down for info on my 300 page
book, "A Practical Guide To Hand Drumming And Drum Circles". $18. It includes a different free drum circle CD.)
In Memory of my best friend, drummer and musician Jim Tonak
300 page book, "A Practical Guide To Hand Drumming And Drum Circles" is $18. A drum circle jam CD is included.
If your desire is to get much more in depth with this, please consider picking up my book. It goes into
starting a drum circle, and how to keep it fresh and interesting for all different kinds of groups. I cover
all of this, and much more in great detail. The page link for it is below.
Check out the main page with my 2 hour DVD of 101 Drum Circle Rhythms for $15 + $2 shipping.
A Free drum circle CD is included. Please visit the main site, for more information.
And while you're at it, check out my drum circle finder, where you can locate drum circles near you in your state.
Established in 1999, there is over 1000 listed and still growing. Also a global drum circle list. These
listings are updated regularly. Click the link below to go back to the drumcircles.net main page.