It is the time of the year that I notice drum circles starting to pop up. Interestingly enough I have never been part of a drum circle. I always thought they were sort of strange. I decided over the last two weeks to do some research on drum circles and check one out myself. I found out I enjoyed the experience and they are indeed a great experience for most who attend them.
For those who are not aware of what a drum circle is, it is a getting together of people from all backgrounds and playing abilities to play drums together. In fact you do not even have to be skilled at playing drums. To attend requires an open mind and the willingness to participate. I believe more people would attend but for their inhibitions that they cannot play a drum. I can tell you that every person can hit a drum with the beat. If it seems overwhelming then start out slow by playing just one beat here and there until you pick up the beat or pulse of what the group is playing. The best part of a drumming circle is that it is free to attend.
After talking to a few folks who run drum circles these are the conclusions I came to. First drumming, or any playing of music is good for you. To play drums for an extended amount of time is a great form of exercise. You will not even be aware you are raising your heart rate and working your muscles. One recent study showed that drumming has proven to be good for the immune system. Research showed that hand drumming increases the amount of T-cells. T-cells are one of the most important elements of the immune system.
Not only do you get physical benefits but you get mental benefits as well. One common thread I heard when talking to drum circle organizers was that when the group is going strong that the members achieve a linking of consciousness. This is usually demonstrated when without rehearsing the group will increase in intensity and tempo. Many times people have said the group will all stop at the same time just out of nowhere. The circle requires you to think and elevate your brain activity.