Simon Faulkner developed Drumbeat based on his experience in addictions counselling. After travelling across North America researching rhythm-based therapies and working with Native Americans and African Americans, the impact of drumming as an analogy to relationships, community and expressing yourself became the basis for the music therapy.
For Drumbeat, the emphasis is taken away from musical ability. Upon determining that the group at the Conference was largely musically inexperienced, Simon began to lead the circle into drumming exercises that would be undertaken in the workshops with younger members.
Despite the lack of actual drums due to a mix up, the group managed to generate enough noise to fill the room. The exercise kicked off with a core beat, what Faulkner described as a “mongrel beat”, mimicking the simple heartbeat. Once everyone was comfortable with slapping their knees, Simon threw in a hand clap and before long, the sound of foot stamps, hand rubbing and voices dominated the ground floor of the venue.
Simon concluded the workshop with the analogy of rhythms within life. Everybody has various rhythms, whether it be at school or in the home, but a person’s own individual rhythm can fit within a community’s.
If you make a mistake and miss a beat, the community is still there to support and help you get back into your rhythm.
During the lunch break, just before Simon’s workshop, students from Corpus Christi Primary in Melbourne had demonstrated Drumbeat to anyone interested; see the video below:
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