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We recently had a ZOOM video chat for people interested in the Flute Choir Cards. This is a recording of that call. You might pick up some tips and have some of your questions answered through watching.
Kalani is working with WePlayWellTogether.com to help music makers choose and enjoy instruments that work together, musically, and that are beautifully made by people who know music. Learn more
Zoom Call Video
Flute Choir Cards make it easy to play harmonies and chord progressions (songs) on your Native American Flute. Use them in any key and with any flute to instantly create harmonies and music that flows, for all levels of experience. Include everyone in a flute circle, from beginners to advanced players. Play popular songs with accompaniment on your favorite chording instruments or use play-along tracks to access hundreds of popular songs.
Group drumming has risen in popularity over the past decade because it offers myriad features and benefits for helping meet the goals of music educators. Some of these include:
- opportunities for ensemble and solo play
- improvisation, composition, and recreating traditional music
- abundant, affordable, durable instruments
- vast musical material, vis a vis folk music from around the world
- opportunities to explore various roles, such as leader, follower, and partner.
- opportunities for musical and social skills assessment and development
- tie-ins to geography, sociology, cultures, customs, languages, and more
- connections with singing and dancing in various genres.
- performance goals and opportunities for achievement
Not all “drumming” may be equally “potent” when it comes to meeting the educational needs of teachers and students; however. While there are many resources (both published and via live training courses) that provide educators with the skills and knowledge they need to create developmentally appropriate curricula for their students, there are also some approaches to group drumming that may fall short in terms of content.
Most music educators will have heard the term “drum circle,” largely due to heavy marketing my drum manufacturers and “facilitators,” who present them as accessible musical experiences where there are “no wrong notes” and where the focus in on “community” over musical quality. While the message sounds wonderful, a closer look at the content begs the question: What is being taught and how will students use what they learn?
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with focusing on “making music easy” or “building community,” it’s also important to make sure that students are learning. Because drum circles are improvisational in nature, musical content is often limited to what students can already play, which doesn’t provide them with new and challenging musical material. Because there are “no wrong notes,” students may not be developing critical listening and performance skills they will need in band, orchestra, and other ensembles. Because the focus in on “community” and not on the musical product, students may gain a false sense of achievement, much like getting a “participation trophy” for playing a sport, which can result in a casual attitude towards their ensemble responsibilities.
Drum circles are casual, improvised drumming experiences that provide maximum freedom for participants. They are best suited for after-school programs, fund-raisers, and “special events” where music education is not the focus or goal. When music education is the goal, traditional drumming ensembles (learning, practicing and performing) is still the most potent tool to provide students with the content, skills, and opportunities they need to become successful, both musically and socially.
The “myth” of traditional music education is that it tends to “place students into stress mode” and can “take the fun out of learning.” I disagree! It’s true that poorly taught lessons by a teacher that has lost his/her spark can be a drag, but most educators I know are absolutely some of the most amazing, inspiring, and talented people on earth. The myth that a “facilitator” (who may or may not be a drummer or a musician) is a better person to bring the joy of music to students is likely more about marketing drum circles to schools and less about supporting students with high-quality curriculum, teaching process, and the inspiration they need to be their best.
This is why I, and many other music educators, are turning towards traditional drumming, such as the World Rhythms program, as a platform for group drumming in educational settings. Music educators can still give their students plenty of opportunities for improvisation and community building without abandoning quality music in the process. Rather than lowering the bar, we can help students clear it by giving them the skills and resources they need to reach their greatest potential.
Let’s honor the power of music to transform lives, not by diluting it, but by diving deeper.
Download the PDF for lists of music from the Caribbean, Brazil, and West Africa. Find the bands and artists on your favorite music platform and enjoy!
Why are people taking the DCM course?
It offers a lot more than drum circle facilitation.
DCM is about facilitating creativity, community, and is based in a universal process of Inclusion, Cooperation, and Appreciation.
Drum circles are fine, but we can do so much more. A lot of people are looking for fun ways to engage people in music-based experiences without the need for music skills. They want to help people enjoy some of the many benefits of music making without having people feel the anxiety that can come from music performance or learning. The DCM course provides answers. Kalani is a master musician, educator, and music therapist. His specialty is in helping people make connections while being creative.
“Facilitation is much more than standing up in the middle of a group and conducting different activities. That’s more of a form of control. What we’re doing at the DCM course, is developing our skills to help empower people to be the ones leading themselves towards something magical. We believe that people are inherently creative and playful. Our role, as facilitators, is to unlock that creative, playful side of people by creating an environment that is free from judgement, abundant in resources, and encouraging.”
When we study DCM, we’re not just thinking about drum circles, drumming, or even music. We’re thinking about people. When we root our goals in what people can do, create, and feel, we point towards a personal outcome. We’re not just thinking about getting people to play the same beat or follow directions from a conductor. We’re giving people the permission and resources they need to find the magic in purposeful play. We never have to get out of the way because we’re never in the way in the first place.
Because DCM has its roots in music, education, and therapy, it’s especially powerful for people who wish to be of service to others, whether in the areas of recreation, education, or therapeutic experiences. As founder of teh Therapeutic Drumming Network, Kalani understands how to create meaningful experiences that help people make progress in a variety of areas, from emotional to cognitive and spiritual. DCM participants often find that they learn much more than they expected, which is one of the main lessons of DCM: Always expect to discover more than you were looking for.
There’s still room in the 2018 DCM course in Los Angeles.
Want to add a BASS voice to your music without spending a fortune and staying portable?
Traditional BASS instruments are bulky and expensive. Some of the most common include upright bass, electric bass, keyboard bass, or Orff Bass bars. Many of these option will run several hundred to over a thousand dollars, but that’s just to get the instrument. What about an instrument that is also super easy to learn and play?
The PADDLE BASS is the solution.
Kalani envisioned an instrument that anyone could pick up and start playing right away. Because the Paddle Bass has just one string, it makes it super easy to find the right note and join in. The”Boomwhacker Color” coded fret markers made it easy to find notes and coordinates them with other classroom-friendly instruments, such as Boomwhacker percussion tunes, chimes, and bells.
The Paddle Bass can be played on the lap or held to the chest. Children and adults find it equally accessible, even those with no musical training.
The Paddle Bass is perfect for music ensembles, elementary music class, ukulele clubs, music therapy settings, and anyone who wants to play the bass.
The Paddle Bass is available directly from Kala Brand instruments.
Register for the course here: http://playsinglaugh.com
Get the most from your DCM training course experience. I talk about what you can do, the books you could review, and some other steps to make your DCM experience the best it can be. The Developmental Community Music Course is a professional development program for music educators, music therapists, and community music facilitators. We explore music and the relationships created through active music making as a means for fostering communication, collaboration mutual support, and more. DCM Facilitators are able to design and present a variety of rhythm-based experiences, from drum circles to interactive drumming, musical games, and more. Influenced by Orff-Schulwerk and Music Therapy, the DCM Approach is the result of years of practical application of drumming, world music, improvisation, group facilitation, and community building. Kalani Das is a professional musician, Orff-Certified music educator, and Board-Certified Music Therapist with many years of experience as an educator, author, presenter, trainer, clinician, performer, and therapist.
Together in Rhythm Book with DVD: https://amzn.to/2qaMpJa
The Way of Music book with CD: https://amzn.to/2qhF3E7
Kalani’s World Rhythms Book: https://amzn.to/2HhcxKH
Drum Fun DVD: https://amzn.to/2Hf4Vs9
The Drum Circle DVD: https://amzn.to/2qesUzF