Moses loves to drum (he loves to “rock out”) and I love drumming circles, so I was excited to bring Moses to his first drumming circle last week. We met two of our dear friends there. I thought that he would either love it or hate it (over-stimulation), so I was curious how he would find it.
His reaction was somewhere in between. He was a bit hesitant when we arrived as the room is darkened and he tends to be shy in new situations. When the drumming started, he joined in right on the beat and my heart filled during this experience of sharing something that I love with my son. A meeting of our interests.
(Watch the short video of the drumming circle — you get a glimpse of Moses on the right at around the 20-30 sec mark).
After 15 minutes, his hands started to get sore and was ready for a change of instrument, so we got up and went to look at what other instruments there were. He whispered to me that he wanted to go home and I was ready to take his lead when he changed him mind and asked to stay. We returned to our seats and he grabbed his blankie and had a little snuggle with it while I returned to drumming. After awhile, he asked for some water and a snack and then climbed onto my lap for more snuggling. It was after his bedtime, so he was tired. We soaked up the rhythm of the drumming. Heaven.
During the stress-releasing portion of the night, when participants are asked to drum and scream as loud as they can to release the stress of the week, Moses covered his ears and I helped to cover them as well and held him close to me. Still, he wasn’t terribly distressed and I was amazed by how well he did, given that he was once so easily over-stimulated. A couple of years ago, it would have been unthinkable for us to bring him to a drumming circle — it would have been too much noise and stimulation for his system.
After 50 minutes, it was break time and he enjoyed the juice and fruit. The quickest way to Moses’ heart is through his belly.
Overall, it was a great night. On the way home, I asked him if he enjoyed it, and he told me that he wouldn’t want to go back, it was too loud. I asked him again the next morning and he told me, “Well… if we brought ear plugs next time, it would be okay…”, so if he’s game, we’ll try it again next month. We might even be able to convince DH to join us.
By the way, in addition to creating music, having fun and connecting with others, there are also health benefits to drumming circles, including:
- reducing stress and anxiety;
- natural pain control;
- decreasing anxiety and depression;
- an increase in natural killer cell activity and an enhanced immune system; and
- stimulating the entire brain.
Read this article for more details about the health benefits of drumming circles.
March 23, 2012 – We went to the drumming circle again tonight. This time we came prepared: ear plugs (which he didn’t need) and a drum that he could hit with a stick (since last time, his hands got tired). He had a great time, drumming for about 10 minutes, after which, he had an even better time because he found a playmate and a room full of toys in the next room. I loved having him there, part of a community event that I love to participate in and also that he was present and soaking in all of the healing benefits of the drumming circle. We will definitely be back!
May 25, 2012 – Moses is now used to the drum circle (doesn’t need ear plugs at all). He only drummed for only about 1 minute before he went to the play area to play with the trains and build a train track. I *love* having my boy playing in the play area while I drum to my heart’s content…