The magic circle
· …an event, in which to make music all together, where people sit or stand in a circle, while they are talking together,
playing percussion instruments from around the world. The drum circle is a concrete symbol of unity, harmony and
completeness and it is an ancient ritual, which has its roots in the ancestral practices of the community and the current
· …people play rhythms created on the fly.
· …in the Drum Circle there are no spectators. Every one is part of the creative moment.
It is an experience that aims at the individual’s well-being and the collective regeneration, through the benefits brought by
the technique of the rhythmotherapy.
To participate there is no necessity to have musical skills.
· …the Drum Circle is a pulse that leads adults and children to look for a personal harmonic path inside the common one,
while promoting the social inclusion and integration.
The number of the participants may vary from a small number of players up to a hundred people and may include people
of all ages.
The main purpose is to look for a new voice in an unusual and funny language.
· …a free space: there is no public because everyone is part of the musical debate; there is no right or wrong;
· …a facilitator (facilitatore) leads this engaging rhythmic event from the centre of the circle, as a concert master: he
creates a sense of community and expands the sense of unity and cohesion.
When we play the percussions in a group, we are sharing our spirit in the form of rhythm that iswhat transforms our relationships.
Drum Circle is effective in all group dynamics in which the need for empathy, mutual esteem and motivation are essential aspects
and it eases the integration of the people with different cultural origins.
While they have fun discovering their own rhythm, the participants rediscover their creative power and ability to be in tune,
through the power of rhythm itself.
In fact, beyond simply being together, these people have a common thought and aim that manifests an energy force and
solidifies the vision and intent of the group itself.
While we are playing, we give us a rhythmic “message” and an emotional release.
This experience is unique to each person and it happens both when we get involved playing in the circle, as well as while we
are standing outside and listening and in the meantime our feet are drumming and our hands clapping in rhythm with the music.
The participants in a facilitated Drum Circle experience an increased in:
PSYCHMOTOR SKILLS – SELF-CONFIDENCE – MUSICALITY –
WELLNESS – RELAXATION – MENTAL CLARITY –SELF- EXPRESSION –
SOCIABILITY – SHARING –FRIENDSHIP – FUN – SENSE OF
The Drum Circle can be “used” in the family, in the community, in a company and in any type
of aggregation group, as a moment to re-establish or reveal harmony and talents, to help
individuals to recognize each other’s qualities, all while they are having fun!
The rhythm has a positive effect on the body, as it provides a “place” where mind, body and
spirit can rejuvenate and remember.
The facilitated Drum Circles are becoming popular for groups of all ages, with the elderly and
with people with DISABILITIES.
Playing drums can be done while sitting, so that people with walking difficulties may participate and have uplifting moments of
joy by the creation of music all together, and at the same time they do some proper exercise.
For those people who cannot walk, the Drum Circle is an excellent way to improve the overall health, to help the release of
stress and the blood circulation in the hands and body, by relaxing stiff, joints, shoulders, arms and wrists, and by stimulating the
The interactive event created with the Drum Circle, allows all participants to create their own music.
They are deeply affected when they feel the vibrations of music. They laugh and smile, hands open and close, the memories
resurface and often they begin to sing and dance.
The role of the facilitator is to supports and help in the recovery of harmony and well-being and it is spreading in this
historic moment as a response to the increasingly felt need for the development of awareness and potentiality of the human, of
balance and harmony between mind and body and spirit, of love for nature and respect for the human values of brotherhood,
equality and freedom, in the holistic vision of Life lived as a synthesis of knowledge, art and spirituality.
Among the many holistic techniques that supports the person in the path to self-awareness and recognition of their own
potential and resources, the Drum Circle is an excellent tool for inner growth, whose main features are:
- Rediscover the power over oneself, feel and be effective, have the confidence to affect events, enjoy a good selfconfidence,
and consider failures as a learning moment.
- “Power” is understood as assumption of accountability, personal capacity, strength, energy, self-empowerment, and
increase of its ability, “power to” do, to be.
- This “power of” is simultaneously marked by the emancipation of other, solidarity and the interdependence with the other,
it immediately becomes a “power with” the other.
- The spread of the capacity of listening and appreciating themselves and the others through the rhythm, affects the ability
to perceive themselves, the others and the “world” as a source of beauty and resources, with which to collaborate.
- The Drum Circle reveals opening capabilities beyond the known and induces the knowledge of the realm of “mystery,”
where anything can happen according to the perception of something subtle and broader than the known material reality,
that quality that we call spirit and that permeates every aspect of life.
- The Drum Circle can easily be used in connection with and as a complement to the numerous techniques of
the inner search and the human enhancement, from the spiritual practices to the exercises of pure psychomotility.
Some benefits of the use of drums, which are documented by medicine:
Blood samples from
participants to one-hour
session of drums have found
a reversal trend in the
response of stress
hormones, du to an increase
in the activity of natural killer
cells and a strengthening of
the immune system.
The medical school of the University of Stanford has conducted a study with the collaboration of 30 people in depression aged
over eighty, and noted that the participants in a weekly group session of music therapy were less stressed and with a higher selfconfidence.
The research indicates that play drums enhances recovery through inducing relaxation and increases the production of the
synchronization of the hemispheres of the brain and the creation of the theta waves.
Play percussions produces pleasurable experiences, the increase awareness of unconscious dynamics, the release of
emotional trauma and the reintegration of the self.
Play in the Drum Circle lightens the excess of self-consciousness, isolation and alienation, creating a sense of connection with
him/her and the others.
Play drums provides a secular approach to tune with the higher forces and allows revealing spiritual perspectives to the life of
According to Clair, Bernstein and Johnson (1995)’s opinion, patients with Alzheimer’s disease who play the drums can connect
better with their loved ones. The predictability of rhythm may provide the contest, in which the repetitive responses make less
burdensome the cognitive effort in people with dementia.
Impact on the immune system
A strengthen of the immune system (2001)
A healthy immune system is a vital key to prevent diseases. We are exposed to millions of germs every day, so the reliability of our
immune system in fighting potential infections is of questionable importance.
What does it mean that through the Drum Circle we can strengthen the immune system? The analysis on 111 participants to the
session of “empowerment” with percussions, showed a significant increase in natural killer cells’ activity, after only one hour
of group session.
The NK search and destroy the cancer cells and the ones infected by virus.
In addition, the report indicates the improvement of the neurological patterns associated with stress response.
Well-being benefits on employees in a company
It strengthens the immune system of the employees in a company (2007)
The growing evidence that stress in the work place influences the susceptibility to disease, emphasizes the importance of finding
effective ways in dealing with the issue, through the drums as a strategy for well-being.
Creativity and harmony in the older people
Making recreational music inspires creativity and intimacy in residents of the old age homes.
The study demonstrates the effectiveness of recreational music-making as a mean to inspire creativity and relational approach.
Residents have confirmed that these activities produce more desiderable effects, compared with the use of antidepressants or
substances for mood stabilizers.
To test this hypothesis, two real laboratories have been installed at the nursing home “Wesbury United Methodist Retirement
Community” in Meadville, an independent and super qualified structure; and at the “Fredericka Manor, Chula Vista, CA,” a
residential campus for seniors with special nurses, including 60 beds for people with senile dementia.
At this time, health programs with percussions are regularly offered in both structures and the collected data dates back to the
period between 2002 and 2003. The analysis involved a total of 550 elder people.
The participation in one session often promoted readily identifiable and significant connections. The dominant conclusion was
that at the end of each session there was no longer any “foreign”.
Many residents have stated that their ability to work effectively on the loss of a loved one was improved by the sessions of
The recognition of a recent missed person was used as a mean to honor the important relationship they had with him/her,
through the empathetic support of the group.
A considerable number of participants commented that the session has positively influenced the perspectives and expectations
of life in the environment of the nursing home.
The improvement of quality of life in adolescents at risk.
Despite the commitment of significant resources in the attempt to rehabilitate young people with problems of delinquency
(young people who has committed offences that would be considered crimes as if they were adults), there is a limited number of
effective, repeatable strategies, or there are some others based on evidences that are supported by the scientific research.
This research published on Advances Journal, demonstrated a significant improvement on these young people.
In fact, this is the first strategy of which people are aware and for which there is hope in reducing the so-called “Columbine
effect,” that led so many teenagers to commit horrible acts of violence.
“You cannot put music inside people, but you can help them pull it out”
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