” Within every heart there is a drum. Within every drum there is a heart – Unknown”
“Drumming is for everybody”, is the awareness that Taal Inc. has been spreading through rhythm for over the past six and a half years and counting.
Group drummings events have becomes more and more popular in India. ‘Drum circle India’, ‘Drum circle Ahmedabad’ or ‘Team building activities in Pune‘s something we hear and read more commonly. Here’s a brief history about group drumming, drum circles or (as it’s sometimes called in corporate settings) team drumming:
A drum circle is a situation where a group of people come together in the physical form of a circle for the purpose of drumming. A wide range of drums ranging from hand drums (namely: the Conga, Djembe, Darbouka, Bongos etc) to frame drums, stick drums and just about anything that makes a sound are used. Drum circles are either facilitated or non-facilitated. A facilitator in the centre of the circle is usually the one who draws the invisible energy graph for the circle; complete from a calm, trance inducing level to a loud cathartic high. A facilitator is not a conductor; he is only a catalyst in the group activity of drumming.
Since time immemorial the drum has been used to bring people together in spirit, in celebration, in harmony and in solidarity. My association with the drum began since as long as I can remember and in my journey till date, what I have realised so far is that the more I learn about the drum, the more I learn a story and a culture that the drum represents. Taal Inc. Drum Circle India for 350 Almanites – Rhythm, Nature and Positive Vibes. As human beings we are connected to this collective unconscious of rhythm, that, in fact, keeps us ticking and alive every moment of our lives. It is this very connection that makes the drum such an attractive instrument. Every culture has a history of group drumming, singing and dancing that we call folk music. People came together, drummed, danced, sang, cooked, ate, shared, expressed themselves, celebrated and got along with their lives the next day. Today this is something worth preserving for fear of losing this sacred connection to rhythm and indirectly, our cultural inheritance. Having said this, due to the 21st century’s emphasis on empiricism it has been researched that drumming is therapeutic, helps reduce stress by producing enhanced alpha brainwaves which represent a relaxed state. Drumming is by nature a group activity (maybe that’s why it’s called ‘team drumming‘) and thus fosters efficient communication, group cohesiveness and teamwork. Since it is a novel activity, it is very quick to call upon the participants’ unfiltered expression. A trained facilitator is therefore, able to gauge the personalities of the participants and address the needs of this group on a micro or macro level. As awareness, intelligence and reasoning capabilities grow, so should the intervention and its efficacy. Group drumming provides the very framework to connect with a new instrument, with one another and the most important (re)connection; with oneself. Due to the inclusive and non-discriminatory nature of a drum, it has been used effectively with various samples of populations. My journey with Taal Inc. and the drums has led me to work with many a special population ranging from Alcohol and Drug addicts, Commercial Sex Workers, Mentally and Physically Challenged Adults, Rural Children and assisted work on Autistic Children using the concept of drum circles. The results have been astonishingly productive and humbling at the same time. It will not be long before we bring rhythm back into our lives and realise that, whoever the drummer may be, the drum was inherently built to spread joy and love. And since music is unequivocally the food of love, we will be drumming along.