Attendees of the City of San Jose’s Wellness Conference and Fair thought they were coming to hear information about the latest trends and research in health and wellness. Little did they know that they were actually going to experience it first-hand on the drum during the afternoon Drummm Circle session…
Set on the West Plaza of San Jose City Hall, employees and passersby came upon the outdoor Drummm Circle. Having pre-set the drums and chairs, I was joined on bass drums by Violet Angell, with fellow facilitators Sue Malloy and Heather Holland lending a helping hand.
Having explained that drumming is an ancient communication technique for bringing people together in harmony, I demonstrated how the drums work. Participants quickly discovered how we can easily tap into our own innate sense of rhythm by simply listening and playing along, without fear of mistakes or failure.
Great grooves followed as I sculpted the music to bring out the dynamics, as in an orchestra. People took turns calling and responding, leading and following as we released stress and created big, beautiful music together in the moment.
Within minutes our drum circle grew to include not only managers and custodians, but also the parking attendant, a group of tourists, and a homeless man who introduced himself as Turtle. It didn’t matter what language each of us spoke, our occupation, or lifestyle. We all shared in the rhythm and received its gifts that day.
Article: Jeni Swerdlow, MA, ATR
Photo: Sue Malloy