Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lessons from the drum


The drum is one of the world's oldest instruments in the world and yet still found in many places, although sometimes in modernized form, even though the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Drums may be played individually, with a single drum, or in a group with various drum sizes and sounds coming out in harmony. I had the privilege of attending an event where a drumming group called Drum Cafe led the opening of the session with some versatile drumming skills. I have been in this drumming session twice before but I still enjoyed this event as if it was the first time. The way they facilitate the whole experience and the way they use the drum to show how it can bring together people to achieve one goal and make a unified sound is intriguing. We were all given the Djembe drum and we would take instructions and play in a way that would make us one. With more than a hundred people in the room, a disjointed effort would be chaotic with no result achieved, but with Drum cafe in the lead, this was an experience which would be both unifying, refreshing and memorable. The drum is a very simple instrument which only requires one's two hands to beat in varying styles to make a sound to which people can dance. When there is one drum, it is easy for the drummer to play whichever way and possibly create musical art, however when there are more than a hundred people, there has to be some format to drumming or else it ends up being messy and noisy. And so we were led into making some beautiful rhythmic sounds where we ended up nodding our heads, smiling and even laughing with feet stamping and hips swaying as well. This is much the same as with anything in life. When one sets -out to achieve something on their own, they are almost certain to achieve whatever they want to as long as they are aware of it themselves, but when that same effort is a group effort then there has to be leadership and vision to achieve a desired result. Someone has to call the shots and say what happens now and next and how it happens. This gets things going in a way that achieves results. What part are you playing in the drumming session of life? Lead the greatest harmony of drumbeat or follow as the best team drummer and enjoy the results. Now beat your drum!