Where It’s At ... That new drum circle in town
No, that’s not a playful entry on a lunch menu, it is a phrase for a rhythm in drum circles. Curious? Feed your curiosity Friday, March 15 when the new drum circle begins at the Harbor Peer and Wellness Center on School Street in Boothbay Harbor. The Center opened its doors last November and people of all walks of life have been walking through them.
Come Friday, March 15 (yes, it’s the Ides of March but no one will be wielding cutlery) the Center will offer its first music-based programming with a facilitated drum circle led by Kitty Hartford from 6 to 8 p.m.
It all came about last month when Kitty attended the community meeting at the Center and told Adam Sterrs (programming dude) about the facilitated drum circle she’s been doing at River Arts the second Saturday of each month.
Adam said he “was all about it.” And it would seem he and drumming were meant to be; his brother had given Adam a djmebe, brought back from a trip to Uganda.
“And I’ve never used it,” Adam admitted – to which Kitty responded with enthusiasm, ‘You need to play it.”
“(The Center's) goal is to have as many programs as we can. I play guitar and I’m ready to experiment with the djembe,” Adam said. “I don’t know how much interest there will be - at first. Things take time to grow.”
Recovery and mental health go hand in hand with drumming. There are innumerable websites, YouTube links, podcasts and more at our fingertips via the web. For example, back in 2011 Michael Winkelman of the Department of Anthropology at Arizona State published a study in which he concluded, “(it) enhances recovery through inducing relaxation and enhancing theta-wave production and brain wave synchronization.”
The health bennies of drumming include stress and anxiety relief, emotional and physical healing, and strengthening of memorization skills.
Phil Grant, a drum therapy specialist, noted on the website, https://recoveryexperts.com: “Therapists have been administering drumming therapy to improve recovering addicts’ abilities to change their behavior and become emotionally healthier. Drumming therapy gives this in recovery a form of recreation that reinforces their efforts to quit drugs and alcohol. All patients benefit, but those who benefit the most are the ones who have difficulty in expressing themselves with words. They come alive! They find they can express themselves and become comfortable with others.”
Drum circles also connect us with other people. Drum circles are an outlet for our inner voice to come out. And drum circles just make you feel good – and the smile on your face will be confirmation of that – believe it!
Now this drum circle isn’t just for those in recovery. Drumming is for everyone. Can help everyone: (from Thoughtco.com) “Other studies have demonstrated the calming, focusing, and healing effects of drumming on Alzheimer's patients, autistic children, emotionally disturbed teens, recovering addicts, trauma patients, and prison and homeless populations; chronic pain, arthritis, mental illness, migraines, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, paralysis, emotional disorders ...”
“I’ve been drumming for 20 years. I’m giving back the best and only way I know how. We all have rhythm in us. People light up drumming,” said Kitty. “I call the type of drum circle I have as lightly facilitated.
“Part of a drum circle is honoring and respecting the people around you, the instruments, and the experience that may be different for everyone. We have different hands, voices and instruments, but we can connect if we have a little bit of guidance.”
For more on the benefits of drumming - and on Kitty Hartford: www.boothbayregister.com/article/where-it-s-drum-circles/110385
Right now Adam plans to offer this circle on a monthly basis, but if there’s the interest, Kitty is willing to drum weekly at the Center.
“We need to have this type of group offered,” Adam said. “I like to mix ’em up, find out what sticks and what doesn’t. Every day there’s more and more interest (in the Center). It’s all about wellness, baby!”
For more information on the Harbor Peer and Wellness Center, find it on Facebook.