Since early 2006, which was when I first set out to facilitate my first drum circle until now, there has been a great shift in the awareness, perception and acceptance of group drumming activities on the whole. I remember having to talk to people much older than me explaining to them the benefits of being instrumental in introducing drum circles in India. Remember, these are people with senior designations and gray hair. I’m sure they understood the concept theoretically but could not wrap their heads around why they should spend money to make their employees drum. What possible good would that do?
Some of the benefits of drum circles of drum circles include:
- The activity brings all the participants on to a level playing field regardless of their age, designation, seniority, gender and experience. This is the beginning of creating a safe space and building trust in the group.
- Drum Circles help the group build or rekindle and share a deep connection with the group rhythm, the pulse, the other participants and themselves.
- Group drumming helps participants forget all conscious thought for a short while. So, something that is externally loud and dynamic can be internally, very calming and centering. In a day and age of multiple sensory stimulation, being able to be in the ‘here and now’ is a very powerful experience.
- Drum circles help greatly in community building. The drums unite. Drumming has always and continues to attract our attention consistently. A monthly community drum circle (on every 4th Sunday in Pune) helps to bring people from various walks of life to one place to share and express their common love for drumming.
- On a physiological level, group drumming helps in facilitating blood circulation, in the production of ‘feel good’ hormones hence reducing perceived stress levels but facilitating relaxation responses.
- On a psychological level, drum circles facilitate catharsis, help in bringing out leadership behaviour, enhance communication skill and positively influence our feeling of wellbeing.
Traditionally this activity has been seen and experienced very often. An average Indian has grown up listening to drumming processions, at festivals and celebrations. The dhol tasha tradition of Maharashtra, Chenda of Kerala, Dhak of Kolkata, Punjabi Dhol from north India are all examples of folk percussion cultures that are synonymous to life happenstances in India. By bringing these traditions to a learning setting such as a corporate training program, we are tapping into the inherently attractive nature of drumming and the deep behavioural benefits of drum circles.
Over time, audiences from various backgrounds have all opened their hearts and minds to drum circles. We’ve had the good fortune to have corporate drum circles, wedding drum circles, college drum circles at festivals, private drum circles at parties, birthday drum circles for kids and adults, product launch drum circles, drum circles for campaign promotions, annual day drum circles and also using rhythm as an ongoing intervention to work with special needs or at-risk groups. This activity has gained a lot of popularity in the metropolitan cities especially Delhi. Taal Inc. has proudly been a part of the Auto Expos in Greater Noida and has drummed with some of the biggest brands such as Renault, Mondelez, Tata Group, Mercedes, HCL, Piramal Finance, DBS Bank, Swiftwin, Fractal.ai, Project LIthium and many more…
Apart from the application of drum circles in corporate events, there has been a rise in the amount of community drumming groups as well. Delhi drum circles, Delhi drummers, Noida drum circles to name a few… There has been a lot of drumming in various music festivals, flea markets and parks in general. NCR being a melting pot of people from all over the country and various corners of the world, lends well to the popularity of drum circles in Delhi. This activity brings these people from various backgrounds together in one rhythm making it the ultimate unifier. It does not matter how talented a drummer you are or not. Everyone is welcome. The more experienced drummer learns to support the first-timer and each participant brings with them a positive energy of serving the group rhythm. This is the power of a drum circle!
The first thing to do if you are interested in starting a drumming community in your vicinity is to learn how to lead groups using rhythm and become a drum circle facilitator. Fortunately, Taal Inc. has an annual intensive course called ‘Find Your Inner Rhythm’ which happens in Pune at a venue called Artsphere. This year’s course is from 2nd April to 8th April 2023. In this course I share with the student all I have learned over the 17 years of drum circle facilitation with groups of all kinds. The week-long intensive covers theory in great detail by drawing from psychology, NLP, group therapy, drumming and more. In addition to this students lead their (presumably) first drum circles as we invite groups to come to the venue of study. This way the students have a ‘safety net’ so to say by being able to facilitate their first session with the support of their peers and fellow students. The course leaves the student with all the information needed to lead drum circles for a particular target population, hone their own drumming skill and bring out their best ‘facilitator’ selves. Reach out to us to know more about becoming a Find Your Inner Rhythm Facilitator and sowing the seeds to start leading your own community drum circle in Delhi.
Come. Drum. Be One.