Local drum circle facilitator Marilyn Maclean is organizing community-wide drum circles to give residents an outlet to express themselves in a safe environment.
Drum circles are a group of people playing hand-drums and percussion in a circle. They are distinct from a drumming group or troupe in that the drum circle is an end in itself rather than preparation for a performance. They can range in size from a handful of players to circles with thousands of participants.
“A drum circle is a safe, non-judgmental place for healing and expression of self. It’s about building relationships with joy and love,” Maclean said.
“The drum is being used in so many different ways, so it’s really neat to me to see the drum coming back. I also do equine guided coaching, and the last session I did with a client, we incorporated a drum into the session and I think the two really go well together. I’ll be using drums with the horses moving forward and will be offering classes for other clients in the spring time.”
“It (drums) not only helps people connect with others, but also helps them connect with themselves … it’s therapeutic and really, truly helps people connect with their inner selves.”
“People are also wired for connection, and we have totally lost that through technology and I find that people are looking for that connection in the community and the drums give that to them.”
Maclean started her first drum circle on Nov. 26, where she had two community members attend, she has already seen an influx in people joining since the start date.
“My first drum circle, excluding my family, there were two people there. The next week, there were seven and the last week I did it there were 20,” Maclean said.
“That tells me that the community is ready for this. It’s something that people are really wanting. Not everybody understands it, and that’s OK, but there’s something about the drums that really helps ground a person and there’s so many benefits to drumming … and the best part is, you don’t even need to know how to drum.”
“It’s not about how you drum, whether you know how to drum, if you have any musical background. The drum circle is about connection, the community, diversity and it’s about being creative and playful … just allowing yourself to try something that is out of your comfort zone.”
For those interested in participating in future drum circles, Maclean says they’re taking place every Sunday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403-512-4170.