First We Drum is our free community drum circle, created to inspire and encourage all who share a love for creating rhythm, connecting with others, and nurturing their well-being and inner joy. No experience is necessary — this is a casual, lighthearted, learn as you go experience where the main requirement is your enthusiastic presence.
“I was hesitant at first,” Leslie C. said, “since I’ve never drummed before. But the guys create an experience that is so welcoming and natural that I was drumming with everyone else within a minute. It was so much fun!”
No drum? No problem! We have plenty to share and all are welcome to join the circle and discover the sheer joy of drumming.
When it gets right down to it, just about everyone likes to bang on things,” says Austin Patton, FUMCFW Director of A/V Resources and First We Drum facilitator. It’s a great way to release stress, anxiety, and tension.” He laughs, then adds, “and it’s way better than punching someone!” Austin is a lifetime drummer and has even served as drum accompanist for TCU’s dance classes.
“Drumming is really easy to do, and anybody can do it, even if you’ve never touched a drum before,” he emphasizes. “We give a little bit of basic technique instruction at the beginning to give them a head start — and mainly so they don’t hurt their hands — then we do a few fundamental exercises and they’re ready to go!” Austin also says that while this group is usually more beginner-friendly, it’s still fun for everyone.
Darryl Parker, another First We Drum leader is a longtime member of eleven: eleven who first imagined and then helped create this group. Darryl Parker, longtime member of eleven:eleven who first imagined and then helped create this group, explains that drumming is about joy and a creative outlet inspired through community and humanity, evolved through music. “In a world filled with social media, we are finding much that separates us as human beings. However, drumming draws us outside of our “tribes” and invites us to experience moments of creative joy that sounds like humanity.” Darryl is an engineer, dancer, drumming and music enthusiast, gifted listener, Mindfulness Coach, and founder of Middle Moment.
Mike Phillips, another First We Drum facilitator, is an engineer, Restorative Justice Practitioner, Roots of Change instructor, and gifted group facilitator who also shares this facilitator role with Rev. Tom McDermott, FUMCFW Associate Pastor and leader of eleven:eleven worship with 20 years of experience as a Drum/Rhythm Circle Facilitator with corporate, health care, and camp groups across the U.S.
“Group drumming provides a direct, visceral experience of what is possible for community and working together as we pay more attention to the group’s rhythm and less on our individual skill and pattern,” Tom explains. “That’s the trick. I tell the group, ‘It’s not about you, it’s about the group.’ Once we take our mind off how good or bad our technique is, and pay more attention to the group’s rhythm creation, our own drumming just seems to fall in place. We start to notice how interesting our own rhythm pattern is as it relates to the whole. but it took paying attention to the whole group first.” Tom smiles, then adds, “Life can teach us where we fit in when we pay attention to it.”
In addition to being just plain fun and making you feel like a Rockstar (yes, you!) drumming has proven itself to have some health benefits as well! From inducing deep relaxation and relieving stress to lowering blood pressure, boosting your immune system and relieving depression and anxiety, researchers say that drumming can actually make you smarter—it accesses and connects the entire brain. Research also shows that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain actually synchronizes the left and right hemispheres.
So now, armed with all this information, what could you possibly have to do on Tuesday evenings that will do all of that for you — and be more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Thought so. See you in the Drum Circle!