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Drum Circle Spirit: Fascinating Human Potential through Rhythm (Performance in World Music Series) Paperback – 27 Oct 1998
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Top customer reviews
I am a self-taught percussionist of over 30 years, and have been playing in Samba bands for over seven years.
Although Samba music is great rousing stuff, I have always found it stifling in the free creative sense.
The WOMAD festival has always hosted African drum circles, and some of these gatherings have been amongst the most magical events I have ever attended.
I recently bit the bullet, going on a teaching course, and, after some weeks of soul searching decided 'I could do that'. I had heard that Arthur Hull was the Dalai Lama and grandaddy of facilitating drum circle workshops...or playshops [shiver] as he whimsically calls them ...so I bought the book, rather naively thinking it would concentrate on what patterns would be good to introduce, and how to do this, preferably indicating how to allow a degree of what Hull calls 'Anarchistic' (freewheeling) style into a circle, whilst maintaining a structure.
What we actually get is a fair degree of people skills (useful), wrapped in some unashamedly New Age California philosophy which might or might not go down so well in deepest Lancashire, ...some touchy feely exercises about giving over control (probably good) along with a large dollop of experience. But I found the nitty gritty of practical do's and dont's a little thin on the ground.
I also suspect that his circles are only marginally more free than my Samba band...but I don't know for sure, because I have never attended one of them...and he never seems to get round to areas as mundane as this in his book.
The biggest lesson I learned from this book has nothing to do with drumming, but perhaps everything to do with facilitating: "You get back what you put in"...erm come to think of it that could apply to drumming too...and to life.
ADDENDUM I have just returned from a five day course run by Arthur Hull, and the missing pieces have fallen into place. I understand now that the nature of what he is trying to teach comes from the people who attend the circle, not from the facilitator. This 'teaching without teaching' strategy is fascinating and really does offer people freedom AND learning at the same time.
In the light of what I have learned, I feel the need to alter my rating to 5 stars, for further reading I recommend Drum Circle Facilitation Book: Building Community Through Rhythm by the same author.*****
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
- It is full of past experiences about facilitation techniques.
- Very motivating stories
- Clear explanation of what you need to run your rhythm based business or life :)
- Fundamental rhythms are very useful.
-Some points discussed again and again making them boring.
-There is no video about the techniques and it is hard to understand what is going on while listening the audio CD.
Arthur's numerous anecdotes are entertaining and informative. They really conveyed the spirit of what Arthur does with his drum-circles.
I'm very anxious to get started applying what I've learned (and will continue to learn) from this book, and it has convinced me to attend one of Arthur Hull's Facilitator Playshops. Arthur's teaching in the book is very clear, presented in small, easily-digested steps, and most of all, very encouraging. The whole book shouts, "You can do this, it isn't that hard!"
I've very pleased that Arthur has taken the time to share his hard-earned wisdom with the rest of us. If you're wanting to start a drum-circle, work with kids through rhythm, or any such activity, you can't afford not to own this book.