Don't know what a drum circle is? Read our drum circle FAQ here!

 

Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • Holistic Wellness – drumming and the healing process after a loss

    People who have experienced the loss of a loved one need to take care of their well-being.  Holistic wellness encompasses not just physical health, but also mental and emotional health.

    Unfortunately, loss seems to be pretty much all around us these days.  And we need a lot of tools in our toolbox when learning to cope after a loss.  Drumming was one of those tools at a recent bereavement camp for children and youth through Haven Hospice.

    Holistic wellness during times of grief

    Actually, they held two camps – one in Orange Park and one in Gainesville.  At each camp, the kids got to experience a variety of fun activities designed to take them through the grief and coping process.  Activities included:

    • “Grief Gator” and “Sad Shark” pinatas
    • A “worry box” where they could write down their worries and anxieties
    • Therapeutic play time outdoors among nature
    • A therapeutic miniature horse named Magic to whom the kids could tell their secrets
    • A therapeutic drum circle, of course!

    The camp organizers did an amazing job creating a day for the kids to process their grief in a way that made sense to them – through art, rhythm, candy, nature, animals, or writing.  Some activities were social and some were introspective.  Some were active, and others were more passive.

    The drum circle

    Our drum circle was a bit of both sides.  Kids (and volunteers and staff) had the chance to play the name of a loved one on their drum and explain why that person was special to them.  Then we pictured ourselves transforming from caterpillars to butterflies.

    Next, everyone learned to make up their own rhythms on the drums, focusing on the theme of transformation.  Kids got to lead the group or simply stand in the middle of the circle and hear the support of the whole group wash over them.

    And at the end, we added in some hand percussion instruments (shakers, bells, wood blocks) to create a relaxing soundscape together.

    How does it help?

    It’s good to approach the healing process with a variety of tools depending on your personality and mood state.  Studies show drumming can help work through grief because it facilitates bonding and group support.  Also, it helps release those feel-good hormones that boost your mood.  And, the mindfulness component of drumming requires you to be present the whole time.  This allows you to put aside your worries temporarily, so that you’ll be better prepared to deal with life’s challenges afterward.

    Would you or your organization benefit from a therapeutic drumming experience?  We’d love to hear from you.

    « 2 of 3 »
    Share this:
  • Building effective teams – Guardian Pharmacy is on fire

    Building effective teams in the workplace is an ongoing process.  You can’t simply offer a training, hand out an award and call it a day.  You might want to use a multi-faceted approach when it comes to ensuring your team is at peak performance.

    Recently, we offered a stress-reduction and teambuilding workshop for the employees of Guardian Pharmacy in Jacksonville.  Prior to the workshop, I visited their office for a tour and an overview of their work environment.  I sat down with Ismary Castro, a Client Service and Relations Manager, to learn more about their operations and employee needs.  From that visit and our subsequent drumming workshop, I learned a lot about what they’re already doing well.

    Making your employees as much of a priority as your clients

    The first thing I noticed before even entering the building was the shiny new parking sign denoting a spot for the Employee of the Month.  Ismary said she thought it was an important perk to give the chosen employees so they’re visibly recognized for their hard work.

    Throughout the rest of the building, it was clear that she’d made an effort to offer multiple ways to encourage wellness and appreciation:

    • A book nook
    • A candy jar
    • Stylish signs with encouraging messages decorating the walls
    • A pile of blank notes that managers can write to team members thanking them for something awesome they did

    Keeping the client top of mind

    One of the other first things I noticed when I arrived was a wall chock-full of photos of residents at the senior care facilities they serve.  Ismary beamed when I remarked how encouraging it was to see that out in the open.

    If you lose sight of who you’re working for, how will you know where to focus your energy?

    “The No Complaining Rule”

    When we scheduled the workshop several months ago, Ismary told me their employees were reading a book called “The No Complaining Rule.”  I should read it too, she said.  That would help me plan a session that was more in tune with the group’s needs.  I read it and wrote down several nuggets of wisdom to incorporate into our session.

    The office was filled with posters reminding employees of the No Complaining Rule.  The idea is to encourage people to be “problem solvers, not problem sharers.”  The book explains that the office can choose a system for receiving and resolving complaints of all sizes.  It sounds simple, but once implemented, can have a huge impact on the company culture.  By nipping negativity and mindless complaining in the bud, the whole office becomes one that seeks solutions rather than more problems.

    Drumming out stress

    Finally, we got to drum with the employees to help them reduce and manage their stress.  Ismary emphasized that the company’s departments each have their own unique demands.  We’d give them a chance to let off some steam and have fun.  They would connect with people in other departments, and learn some techniques for using rhythm on their own.

    After the session, one team member mentioned that this was his first day, so the drumming set the tone for his experience with his new employer.  He was all smiles before, during and after!

    There’s a lot that goes into building effective teams in a high-stress environment.  Contact us for a free consultation and learn how rhythm can help your team!

    « 2 of 3 »
    Share this:
  • Diversity, peace, and unity – drumming at the University of North Florida

    Diversity and unity were at the heart of the University of North Florida’s International Day of Peace event on September 21st, 2018.  Here are some activities we focused on for our drumming session.

    Highlight our common ground and diversity

    We started off with a short activity called “Rumble If.”  The facilitator (or a participant) asks a yes or no question.  If the answer is yes, participants rumble (play a drum roll) on their drums.  I always say this is an excellent way for the group to get to know one another and break the ice.  We find out things we have in common and what makes us unique.

    For example, some questions highlighting diversity and inclusion might include:

    • Rumble if you’re originally from Florida
    • Rumble if you were born in another state/country
    • Rumble if you’re a vegetarian
    • Rumble if you have any brothers or sisters
    • Rumble if you’re the oldest/youngest in your family
    • Rumble if you’ve experienced any stress this week
    • Rumble if you’re a Jags (insert city-specific sports team here) fan

    Set intentions

    Next, we did something called Rhythm Naming.  I invited participants to think of a focus word or goal for the session, or for the rest of the day.  They could focus on a word or phrase such as “reducing stress” or “meeting new people.” After deciding on a word, each person played a representation of that word on their drum.

    People chose phrases such as “peace on earth,” “love is a language,” “smile,” and “go away stress!” And, the rhythms they played on the drum to represent those words showed off their creativity.

    The universal heartbeat

    After that, we got into the meat and potatoes of the session – the drum jam.  The jam is the opportunity for participants to really tap into their creative side and also tune into the others in their group.  We encourage everyone to “play whatever you want as long as it makes us sound good!”  We achieve that by listening to others and figuring out how our rhythm fits in with others’.  But first, we started off with a heartbeat – playing the rhythm of our hearts (“lub-dub” or “boom boom”) and gradually adding in other sounds to explore the rhythm further.  Playing this rhythm solidifies the theme of commonality – we’re all human, we all have a heartbeat, no matter who we are or what we believe.

    Pieces of 8

    Finally, this little game allowed us the chance to see how the rhythm changed the more sounds we added to it.  Participants started off by choosing a number between 1 and 8 (everyone chose their own number), and then they played one “boom” every time they heard their number during the counting aloud.  Then, they chose two numbers to play during the 8-number cycle, doubling the sound that we heard.  Afterward, we talked about what it meant to contribute (even in some small way) to the outcome of the whole.

    We ended the session with a “pair and share,” an opportunity to people to partner up and talk about their favorite parts and takeaways.

    Would you like to offer a unifying drum circle to your group or organization?  Get in touch with us!

     

    « 1 of 3 »
    Share this:

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign-up to get the latest news straight to your inbox.
SUBSCRIBE!
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close
Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter IconJust Add Rhythm on LinkedInJust Add Rhythm on LinkedIn