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Drum Therapy

Djembe Drum
Michelle Cole

When I bought my drum two years ago the woman who sold it to me shared her personal experience with drumming; I was not completely surprised, but really amazed. She had several physical issues going on, at least one chronic and painful when she first started drumming and joined a drum circle. While the emotional/spiritual side effects could be credited to the social interaction, the drumming itself felt therapeutic to her. Between drumming and meditating, she was able to manage her health issues and felt better than she had in a long time: emotionally, physically and spiritually. I could use some of that!
Since I purchased my lovely Djembe drum I can count the number of drum circles I’ve been part of on one hand; all of which have occurred this year. That said, I have spent the past two years getting to know her sound, letting myself guide my hands while they explored various beats and rhythms without any outside influence or instruction. Such as I like to learn most things, creativity is not something I was born short on!
The good news is that if you live near Elizabeth you have at least one option to participate in a drum circle! On the last Monday of every month in the Carlson Building located at 239 Main Street in Elizabeth. You can find more details on the Karma Kottage website. They generally start around 6pm and are always finished before 9.
The other good news is that every Friday there is a Living Earth drum circle, last night Doug and I went for the first time and I will be returning on a regular basis! The first person who greeted us recognized us from Beltania and asked “Weren’t you camped at the top of the hill?” Feeling of community?! Wow, for the first time in my life I think I may have found a place I don’t feel an outsider, a place where I feel as though I belong. Already the Drum has helped me towards healing my soul/heart/spirit/mind! Doug sat contentedly in a camping chair while I happily followed whatever merging rhythm the others created. I had a lovely conversation with a beautiful woman who complemented my drumming and I had to tell another sweet smiling woman that she had the absolute cutest laugh, completely adorable.
Drum Therapy, in my mind is the side effect from spending time doing something merely for the sake of making some noise, inspiring people to dance, to move and be completely in the NOW together! Much like meditating, drumming can bring you to a place where there is no thought. There is only sound, only thundering beats and the feel of the drum skin under your fingers accompanied by smiles with others enjoying the moment. Yes, there also is that feeling of connecting with our own primal past, lives we may have celebrated a successful hunt or harvest, ensuring the survival of our grandparents and children by drumming and singing around an all-night fire, dancing and celebrating the bounty of Earth. I highly recommend drumming for everyone!
A monetary note: both drum circles are cost free and both accept donations. Donations in Elizabeth will go to the library for allowing use of the space and donations to Living Earth will go to various projects. Last night Joy announced the money raised was going to a community food project-so donations at both drum circles are always appreciated!


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