Yes to Drumming Circles!

A couple of months ago, I attended an Alzheimer’s conference since I am now working in a memory care facility.  It was extremely interesting and educational.  The last workshop was a drumming circle.  It was so much fun, relaxing, and cool.  There are so many reasons for doing it: following directions, following rhythm, relaxation, fun, coordination, manipulation, sensory issues,and more. 

I thought I would implement this idea at my special needs school.  The first time it was a disaster in both classes.  I was so upset.  In fact, one of the high school students came up to me and said, “It was not a good idea to do a drumming circle in a classroom full of disabled students, especially those with sensory issues.”  I questioned my decision to do it and I thought that I should do it again even though it was a flop.  I spoke to my son who is a speech therapist and works in a public school program for life skills.  He said it is especially the reason why I should do it.

The first thing I did the following week upon entering the classroom was tell the students that I never want to hear the word “disabled” again, and I went into why. I don’t like that terminology at all.  We all have our issues, some worse than others, some we have to learn to improvise for, some we have to work hard to overcome. I told them about the reading issues I have and how I deal with them, and to look what I have done with my life. As well, I shared about my claustrophobia, and how I pretty much have overcome it. 

Today the drumming circles were a success!  A lot of us had a blast, a couple thought it was stupid and boring, but they were so cooperative.  I think they were just trying to to act “cool.”

I took in all of my instruments, used the school’s bongos, and after I demonstrated how it was to be led, I gave the students ownership and they took turns leading.  It was awesome!

If you have any questions, ask.  I will share how I did it. 

I will have to be creative and come up with some new ideas from time to time.  I am planning on doing it once a month.

It made my day after a very rough start.


About cantorrisa

I am a Cantor, Judaic Studies, and music teacher. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and help people from young to old love being Jewish. I teach and sing in several synagogues and schools in the area. I officiate all life cycle events and teach students, children and adults, privately for their b'nai mitzvah ceremonies. I also enjoy studying Bible with all faiths either individually or in small groups (chevruta). I conduct Shabbat and High Holiday Services at K'hilat Bayt Shira and Senior Communities in the area. In my spare time, I teach key board and guitar. I am married to a wonderful man, have two children and six grandchildren. My hobbies are writing, playing and listening to music, learning, reading, crocheting and knitting.
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2 Responses to Yes to Drumming Circles!

  1. alunatunes says:

    Reblogged this on Melody Music Studios and commented:
    Love this post about drumming circles. Healing, relaxing and FUN!

    • cantorrisa says:

      Yes, for the children I am dealing with, it is healing, relaxing and fun. I am going to start it with my ECC students. I think they will enjoy it quite a bit and sharpen skills at the same time, like listening/processing instructions, rhythm, getting use to different volumes, etc. Thanks for reading!

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