Hands on Healing Through the Art of Drumming
There is something about the shared experience of drumming that brings hope and therapy to many, and that is exactly what DRUMS4LIFE (D4L) is doing in our community. Through their lessons, programs and performances they aim to provide participants with empowering tools for healing through individual and group drumming. While social distancing measures are in place, you can still participate and connect with their drum circles virtually.
“Our niche is to be able to put drums in people’s hand, especially people that never touched a drum before,” saysD4L’s director Kojo Bey. Thus, the decision to go virtual was not an easy one.
At the end of March, Kojo and his family decided to take their drum circles to the virtual world live from their living room. And, they have been enjoying the virtual experience and receiving positive feedback from regular new participants who are connecting with D4L.
Kojo shares: “We have heard so many testimonials of people tagging us on photos and videos of them playing along with us in the virtual programming with instruments they have at home [or using household items as instruments]. It really touches us because they are telling us that they are looking forward to the next Saturday virtual drum circle. They are experiencing what they were getting when they were with us face to face, and for the brand new that didn’t know about us and they are finding something that makes them feel good and look forward to.”
The hope, music and “good vibes”D4L is spreading is not only appreciated by their audience, but for many in our community it is a therapeutic experience as well. , Kojo adds, “particularly with drum circles, you have people that have post-traumatic stress syndrome[s], and some in our community were missing part of their therapy, and once we started the virtual drum circles, we hear from them that we are still capturing the essence of the drum circles and that they feel the closeness to us and the music.”
Another way D4L is contributing hope is by gifting drums and instruments to community members. Before COVID-19, D4L would use donations to buy small instruments and/or supplies to build their own drums to raffle off during their programs and drum circles. Having come to a stop with COVID-19, a long-time drummer and supporter, Mr. Matthew Charity, reached out and told Kojo that his family would like to contribute so that D4L can continue to give some instruments to families during the virtual circles.
Once a call was made on social media, they received many messages and were able to pick four households to receive the drums that were prepare by D4L. The Charity family has committed to also support the giveaway in May, while virtual drum circles continues.
Kojo further shares that “[t]hose of us that have been blessed, this is what we should be doing anyways, we should be looking out for people in our community that are less fortunate than us, and again it is not always financial, sometimes there are people in our community that are stress and anxious and don’t really receive too much hope. Then, there are those of us that are fill with light and we have plenty of hope, we are not stress and anxious; so, we need to find a way to balance out and give back to the community and that’s what DRUMS4LIFE has been about. It is part of our foundation, it is about wellness and holistic healing throughout the world.”
DRUMS4LIFE has become of local staple of positivity, healing, and good rhythms. We encourage you to be part of the DRUMS4LIFE community by tuning in on Saturdays, and experience the drumming and jam alongside Kojo and his family. And, Levine Museum looks forward to the day when they return to us performing at one of our family days again!
Click here to view DRUMS4LIFE at our Juneteenth Family Day!
***coronaHOPE is a new digital series from Levine Museum of the New South that is highlighting stories of hope and resiliency within our community during these unprecedented times. While we all are doing everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19, many community members are also caring for one another in small and big ways. Please share your stories of people bringing HOPE to their communities with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org