Drumming a stress reliever at Manchester Memorial Hospital
By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Wed., Oct. 16, 2013
The John DeQuattro Cancer Center at Manchester Memorial Hospital was the setting for the Community Drum Circle on Oct. 8. The public was invited to relieve stress and relax while joining others by using drum beats to soothe the nerves.
According to facilitator Mary Ertel, “Drumming relieves stress and produces healthy endorphins. If you have high blood pressure, tension or just need a boost in your overall well-being, drumming can help. By saying we are a Community Drum Circle, we are stating that anyone is invited; it is informal and it is an improvisational event. The drummers must listen for the changing beats and follow along.”
Unlike drumming groups, community drum circles begin and end from gathering to gathering. There is no preparation for an upcoming event. Drummers get together on a permanent or temporary basis, and when the evening ends so does the drum circle meeting, because each night is its own new beginning.
Several types of drums are used during the course of the evening. People grabbed the type of drum that spoke to them. The Djembe drum is the most common drum used for the circle, but other hand held instruments were also provided.
“I am here with my mother,” said Emily Willhoft. “I really enjoy this. I am glad I came here.”
Another participant, Dee Carter, said, “I love to play the drums. This is a great place to come to do that. It relaxes me.”
“The thing I like about drum circles is that the group entrains,” said Ertel. “By that I mean, when we are all beating the drums in synchronized rhythms, a new beat comes to life. We may start out with one beat, but as we progress through the session, an entirely new beat comes through. It is influenced entirely by the rhythm of the group.”
The group is looking to expand its membership. There were approximately a dozen drummers during the Oct. 8 session, but sometimes they have a few more or less than that. Since it is a free-style group, there are no obligations or commitments. For more information on the Manchester Community Drum Circle, contact Mary Ertel at M.Ertel@sbcglobal.net or call 860-875-5360.