’Tis the season to be… well, more than a little tired and stressed. You may be looking forward to celebrations and time off, but your to do list keeps growing and you think you might be coming down with a cold.
One innovative way to grab some restorative me-time and counter the winter blues might be to try a spot of drumming.
“It’s an instant way to boost your mood and feel better,” enthuses Virginia Thorn, co-founder of The Sussex Drum, with Jamie Morgan. The duo run drumming classes and events around the South East and are hosting an Immersive Rhythm Day in Lewes this month.
“Very early on, I was so affected by drumming that I wanted to share its benefits with everyone,” says Jamie, who has been fulfilling his ambition for the past 26 years. “It’s such a liberating thing to do. You get swept up in the energy, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’re doing, as you get carried along by everyone else.”
“It’s about enjoying the experience and diving into the energy,” Virginia agrees. “What I love about it is that feeling of being in rhythmical flow with other people. It can be incredibly liberating and uplifting to be ‘in beat’ with others, and anyone can do it. If people turn up with no experience, or unable to hold a steady beat, they can still dive into the day and have the experience of drumming.”
And it’s an experience that is universal, Jamie points out. “I think almost every culture in the world has some kind of ecstatic, rhythmical tradition, with the same rhythms emerging in different settings. That feeling of entrainment – of being in sync – is the first step. Our survival would once have depended on feeling connected to each other.”
Jamie’s exploration of drumming in different cultures has led him to take an ‘energy-based’ approach when introducing it to others, Virginia says. “Jamie has worked with drummers all over the world, and the way they learn is not to sit down and break down the rhythm – it’s to throw themselves into the action of drumming. Beginners join in with more experienced drummers, and that’s how they learn their craft. Archetypal rhythms come through, and there is a focus on energy above mechanics. First you capture the energy, then you find out what to do.”
“To drum around this time of year is especially powerful,” she adds. “It’s a beautiful and effective way to clear energy at what is often a very busy time. It’s lovely to have the opportunity to come together with others to share and celebrate, and for people to take time out for themselves. Drumming is great for getting you out of your head! It’s like a reset.”
6th Lewes Scout Hut, Ham Lane, 14th Dec, 11.30-5pm, book here.