There is no feeling more contentful as a facilitator than being able to facilitate a drum circle and give people an experience they’ll cherish for life. Especially in current times when the sessions are a little difficult to come by, it feels even more special. My last drum circle was also a similar experience when a team of 30 from a leading corporate organisation came together for a Team Engagement Activity and drummed their hearts out. This drum circle however was a little different or rather my reflections about this are.

More often than not, when we share the experience of a session, we talk about how it was for the participants and what we as facilitators gave to the session but this one, I’ll share what I received from the session instead which also happens to be a good way for me to reflect on facilitating drum circles. When we prepare for a session, we usually try to incorporate any learning objective(s) which needs to be addressed along with the key takeaways from the session and make sure to communicate the same during the session, this session was no different. I stepped in the session, all prepped up and ready to talk about various advantages of drumming and what this session will do to them. 

Once the session started, I began to realise that the group has great energy and everytime we played the drums, they were all in but as soon as I started talking in between, their attention began to wander around. Now, these people have been sitting through presentations and training programmes the whole day and any more interaction on the same lines was not going to keep them engaged, so I improvised, I decided to just let them have fun and let their hair down. A lot of drumming, singing and dancing and turns out, that’s exactly what they needed after a long day and that’s exactly what a Healing Drum Circle is supposed to do. Just like how important is stretching after a heavy workout or Shavasana after an intense yoga session to reap in all the benefits.

Similar experiences have happened with me in the past as well and giving the group a great time of super energetic drumming and making them feel one with the rhythm has always helped. I guess my major takeaway from this experience is that listening to what your participants are not saying is more important than what they are saying and if we can tweak our sessions accordingly, with a little bit of improvisation, a beautiful melody, a rhythm emerges. Much like jazz where the silences and listening to each other is as important as playing your own music. 

-Aman Joshi

Taal Inc. Drum Circle Facilitator