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by Tamsyn

November 20, 2015

One of the fun things about living in an RV are the campground activities our family has been able to participate in.  My favorite so far has been the drum circle.  The drum circle in this video happened at Wilderness Lakes in Menifee, California. The idea is very simple.  A percussionist hosts the circle and brings a variety of percussion instruments for people to choose from.  Brief instruction is given for how each instrument is best played, and with no further ado, the circle begins.

The leader starts and after a couple of measures the person to the right joins with their instrument.  There is no right are wrong way to play.  The beat has been established and everyone just plays along.  Each song will have a theme, such as a rain dance, or a war march or a happy song, or whatever.  Start quiet, build up, tone it down.  The leader sets the mood, but nothing else is pre-planned.  Each performance in unique.

In the two hours we participated in the drum circles, we did seven or eight unique songs, with a break in the middle.  That means each song lasted 10-15 minutes.  It was great fun!  Our drum leader told us that she loves seeing children join the circles because they often create the best rhythms.  Adults are blocked by their inhibitions, but children are more driven to explore.  To take chances, make mistakes and get messy.  In the process they begin to feel the music, to become one with the beat, and their creativity sets sail.

There is something very powerful about participating in drum circles first hand that cannot be captured on video, but I still wanted to share the joy my children experienced by being a part of the magic.  If there is an opportunity to participate in a drum circle in your community , jump for it!  And if not, grab some pots and pans and have your own percussion party with your family and friends.

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About the author 

Tamsyn

My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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