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Image - Rhythm Centre - Village drum circle group
Image - tiny drum Just what the doctor ordered! Be a part of the fun and rhythm - no experience necessary!
Image - tiny drum The philosophy is that the music is already in the group and the Village Drum Circle is a way of drawing this out in a more or less leaderless way.
Image - tiny drum Village drum circles invite anybody to come and join an orchestra of drums and rhythm-making instruments as a fun and playful experience of creating 'in-the-moment' music.
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  Village Drum Circles - Introduction  
Image - Rhythm Centre - Village Drum Circle - Auckland
Above: Village drum circle in action - everyone can join in the fun!

What are village drum circles? We'll let the man who originated them tell you.

Arthur Hull:

A tool for unityImage - Arthur Hull - originator of thje Village Drum Circles

    The Community Drum Circle, in the context of how we are using it within our non-professional hand drumming culture, is the most basic and simple use of the drum and rhythm. It is the use of a rhythm-based event as a tool for unity. A community drum circle is a noisy and fun, family-friendly event, where people come together in order share their spirit by entraining rhythmically as a percussion ensemble. They empower each other in the art of celebrating community and life through rhythm and music. People of all levels of musical expertise come together and share their rhythmical spirit with whatever drums and percussion they bring to the event. Everyone who comes and participates has something to offer the circle, and anyone is welcome.

Universal language

    The spirit and magic of rhythm expressed on drums and percussion instruments cuts through all ages, sexes, religions, races and cultures. “Rhythm,” as Gabriel Roth says, “is the mother tongue.” Rhythm is a universal language known to everyone, even the youngest child, if we can just “remember.” So in a very objective, yet beautiful way, an interactive rhythm event puts us all on an equal footing with each other and brings us closer together.

Co-operation and collaboration

    Co-operation and collaboration is the basic glue to a community. A community drum circle is a collaboratively self-organized musical event created “in the moment” by all the people who participate. When we, as a community, drum together, sharing our spirit in the form of rhythm, it changes our relationships for the positive. As we play together, we give ourselves a rhythmical massage, an emotional release and a healing. The release and healing is different for every person in the rhythm circle, and it happens whether we are entraining ourselves into the circle by drumming, or standing outside the circle and listening while tapping our feet and clapping along with the music. To make beautiful music together, with rhythm instruments, all we have to do is bring to the circle whatever rhythmical expertise we have to offer, along with the excitement of sharing it with other people,

You don’t have to be a drummer

    People of all levels of musical expertise come together in a community drum circle and share their rhythmical spirit, with whatever drums and percussion they bring to the event. They don’t have to be a drummer to participate. They don’t even have to have a drum. They can play a plastic water bottle turned upside down with the neck cut off. They can shake a soda can with rocks in it or hit two sticks together. It is enough that they are in the circle and participating.

One powerful voice

    The quality of the music produced in an event like this is not based on the rhythmical expertise of the players, but on the quality of their relationship with the other people in the circle. The result is those magical musical moments where one powerful voice is created out of the many. In those moments, the players stop worrying about keeping time because time, as they know it, has stopped. In its place is a living breathing entity, expressing timeless joy, passion and release through the power of rhythm.

    That is the beauty of a community drum circle.

 Image - tiny drum The Rhythm Centre Trust is committed to bringing this form of community music making into the community - to schools, to hospitals, prisons, institutions, festivals and corporate events. Anybody can play and playing together has been proved to uplift the spirit and heal the body and mind.

Image - tiny drum Village Drum Circles are not a class! It is an openly accepting group of people who are listening and responding to what is being created on the spot. A trained facilitator might adjust the tempo or other dynamics of the music, but only if it is needed to sound better or clearer, or if the current rhythmic energy needs a gentle shift in direction.

Links of interest

Arthurian International Drumming Community

Arthur Hull - Village Music Circles


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