Interactive Drumming

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In support of the PAS mission and vision, the PAS Interactive Drumming Committee is providing access to selected articles about drum circles and interactive drumming currently housed in the PAS Publications Archive.

State of the Art of Interactive Drumming by Robert J Damm
The IDC panel discussion at PASIC ’22, moderated by Robert J. Damm, consisted of Jim Boneau, puck glass, Arthur Hull, and K. Michelle “Yeshima” Lewis. The panelists reacted to negative comments about drum circles and candidly discussed negative experiences they have had in drum circles. This dialogue led to reflections on how to facilitate more successful interactive drumming events and illuminating perspectives on best practices to foster musicality and positive social interaction. Highlights from the session were developed into this article. 

Group Drumming with Senior Citizens by Gary Huber and Christopher Karow
Drum circle facilitators have an opportunity to add interactive fun to the lives of senior citizens through interactive music. Rhythm and song connect with the seniors and add a positive social and emotional outlet to their lives.  The authors describe an autoethnographic approach to group music making with senior citizens and share ideas for adaptations, programming, and additional resources.  

Foundational Rhythms for Drum Circles by Robert J. Damm
Many drum circle facilitators use foundational rhythms to start a jam, establish a groove, and provide a structure within which other participants can improvise in a relatively freestyle manner. Twenty drum circle facilitators shared a sampling of foundational patterns drawn from universal drum rhythms, culturally specific drum styles, and speech rhythms.  

Exploring Meter in a Drum Circle by Robert J. Damm
A series of jams based on different meters, starting with ¼ meter, and sequentially adding a beat up to 9/4 meter (or beyond). 

The Comfort Sound Drumming. Successfully adapting the traditional drum circle for hospitalized cancer patients and their caregivers by John R. Beck
During a 22-month study, 35 hospitalized cancer patients participated in four 30-minute drumming sessions. Patients reported a statistically significant increase in energy and relaxation, improved mood, and decrease in distress and anxiety after drumming.  

Drumming for Corporate Team Building by Jim Greiner
Getting started, community –building (communicating, collaborating, and celebrating).

Introduction to the Art of Drum Circle Facilitation by Arthur Hull
Part 1. The beginnings of drum circles, facilitation techniques.                                                            
Part 2. Facilitation signals, “Dictator” protocol, three reasons to go into the circle.                                  
Part 3. Directing the group towards musicality, teaching without teaching, experiential training of musical elements, sculpting.
Part 4. Facilitating orchestral consciousness, a musical rhythm ensemble, sculpting.
Part 5. Orchestrating the group’s music and spirit, compositional rhythm sequences.       

African Drumming in Drum Circles by Robert J. Damm
Strategies for integrating African drumming into drum circles, bibliography.    

The Positive Effects of Drumming on Children with Autism by Robert Damm, PhD, and Dr. Stephen Workman
Benefits of drumming for students with autism in lessons and drum circles.

A Drum Circle Enhances a Day of Percussion by Robert J. Damm
Facilitators, percussion educators, and student participants provided testimony for the musical  and extra-musical benefits of drum circles at chapter Day of Percussion events.

Recreational Drum Circles for University Students by Robert J. Damm
Recreational drum circle class as part of a university First-Year Experience program, outcomes, the lesson plan, other circles to build community.

The Facilitator's Skill Set: Creating connections and expanding opportunities for yourself and your community by John Fitzgerald
Four testimonials about the power of community drumming: Julie Hill’s on-campus teambuilding and leadership drum circles; Warren Hyer’s drum circles for local court system’s drug and alcohol therapy program; Peter Alan Hussey’s drum circles for nursing students, local retirement & extended-care facilities, and music majors; and Frank Shaffer’s community outreach.

Arthur Hull and the Drum Circle Experience by Rick Mattingly
Recreational, community-building, team-building, and deep listening drumming as “facilitated rhythm-based events.”

Christine Stevens: Drumming for Health by Rick Mattingly
Biographical info on Christine Stevens, research findings on group drumming, 10 tips for facilitating drum circles with non-drummers, and drumming as a wellness tool.

Interactive Drumming: Using the power of rhythm to unite and inspire by Kalani
Various types of group-drumming: drum ensembles, drum classes, drum circles, and guided interactive drumming defined.  Using affirmations with interactive drumming.

Teaching Ubuntu in Percussion by Paul Buyer                                                                  
African philosophy that teaches teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, equality, helpfulness, appreciation, trust, and respect.  Ubuntu in drum circles.

The Drum Circle Family by Chet Doboe                                                               
Opportunity meets the circle, how to connect with first-time circlers, we are family.

Recreational Drumming in the Correctional Setting by Rex Bacon
Recreational drumming/music therapy for prison inmates; best practices.

Community Drum Ensemble: Drumming Outreach for All by Steve Campbell and Lindsay Rust
Community drum ensemble defined, two-part polyrhythm and a “break” played in unison, 10 steps to starting a community drum ensemble.

Rhythm Establishes Connections by John Scalici and Michelle Puckett
Drumming and rhythm for satisfying many of the goals of the occupational therapist: peer interaction, learn sequencing skills, develop social skills, learn appropriate self-expression through the drum, attending to task.  

An Introduction to Drum Circle Music by Kalani
What is a drum circle? What does a facilitator do? Who can become a drum circle facilitator?   

Walking and Talking with Our Hands: Hand Drumming and Group Process in Substance Abuse Recovery by Ed Mikenas
Teaching people in recovery to play hand drums, entrainment, the healing power of communal activity.

PASIC 2004 Drum Circle Facilitation Workshop by Jim Greiner
Rhythm-based activity and drum circle defined, technique, grooving, collaborating, progressing, and celebrating.   

Drumming on the Edge of Leadership: Hand Drumming and Leadership Skills for the New Millennium by Ed Mikenas
Leadership and hand percussion, the team concept, drum circle values, quantum terms, Phyllis Weikart movement, hand drumming, and suggested protocol. 

What Is a Drum Circle? by Kalani
Overview of drum circles, outcomes, what a facilitator does, what kind of instruments are good for drum circles.

Primal Pulse: The Unifying Power of Hand Drumming by Rick Mattingly
Hand drumming, playing together, relationships, community, healthcare, therapy, and connections (music to wellness and people to each other).

Career/Professional Development Resources

Browse valuable career and professional development articles for percussionists. Whether you are a private drum instructor, military musician, composer, or freelancer, PAS has the resources to keep you ahead of the curve.



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