- Chris Lavidas
History and Benefits of Drumming Circles
History of Drumming Circles
The drum is an ancient instrument that has had an active presence in post civilizations. Originating in China, the drum was first used in religious rituals and ceremonies. dating back tens of thousands of years. Drumming circles have been prevalent in tribes of individuals who communicated through playing rhythmic phrasing and melodic patterns. As the drum developed a more known presence around the world, it was used as a means of communication in Africa. It was pervasive in areas of healing, celebration, births, deaths, weddings, harvests, and worship to name a few. Additionally, the drum was considered an artform where dance and drum were often done together. We see this in roots of Western African rhythms and Brazilian rhythms to name a few. Lastly, the military in China used the drum set a marching pace. This was later used during the English Civil War. By the 19th Century, its prevalence permeated around the world where the Scottish Military implemented pipe bands, and ultimately, found its presence in the United States during the Civil War.
Benefits of a Drumming Circle
Drumming allows us to express various emotions and the inner rhythm we all possess in a musical way. Some of the benefits developed in drumming circles are stress relief, acquiring an uplifted spirit in the presence of others, an escape from the pressures of life, motivation, and a fun experience. Along with drumming comes musical therapy. Musical therapy is a healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages (www.musictherapy.org). Further, it recognizes music as a tool of communication, expression, unification, and gratification. It helps improve the quality of life for persons who are well, and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities. Drumming circles achieve nonverbal communication, originality, self-expression, entertainment, concentration, promote wellness, and alleviate pain. Whether one looks to have a drumming circle in a corporate function, a school, or at a senior living community, drumming circles are open to all ages and disabilities.