What Happens in Hawaii?

Insights and inspirations delivered here daily.  Photo by Michael Taylor
Insights and inspirations delivered here daily. Photo by Michael Taylor

The Village Music Circles Hawaii Playshop (known as simply "Hawaii”) has always been much more than a training.  It has always been something bigger than Arthur’s teaching, more than the sum of what people learn there.

When you combine passionate people, hearts of service, and musical inspiration with island waves and breezes, an alchemy happens that opens portals for transformation. 

I have always thought of Hawaii as the heartbeat of our "movement" of people who use drumming and music to promote happiness and well-being. The gathering is an annual pulse where the art of rhythm facilitation is concentrated, remixed, amplified — and then spun back out into the world through our wider Drum Circle Facilitators (DCF) network.


Hawaii is the energy found where we connect with our deepest values, reasons, and meanings about this work. We drink deep, fill our tanks, and go forth to serve our DCF community, our clients and participants, and the world at large.

The Hawaii heartbeat nourishes even those who have never been to a Playshop. You have received some Hawaii magic just by being connected to this DCF network. In fact, the very fact that we have a network is in no small part due to the profoundness of the Hawaii experience, and the collaborative community ethic that thrives there.

So . . . What Happens In Hawaii?

Here are some highlights of your next Hawaii experience:

THE PEOPLE   You float in a Love Bubble filled with friendly creative people, swirling in mutual encouragement and challenging fun.

THE WORK   The leap in your understanding of what DCF is all about is like going from 16mm film reel to 3D with surround sound.  You are not only learning about it, you are LIVING it — to a depth that occurs nowhere else.

THE PASSION   Ideas fly like songbirds and seagulls, as your imagination soars to play with new possibilities, and you are inspired by your new community of friends.  You return home with MOMENTUM to do more of this work!

THE NETWORK   You become an integral part of this worldwide family and professional network.  You have an instant bond with everyone who ever went to Hawaii.  You get a sense of who’s doing what around the world, and explore new opportunities to collaborate.

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THE MUSIC   You ride the magic carpet of improvisational music-making to places you’ve never been before.

Think back to the most musically satisfying drum circles you’ve ever been in.  The key ingredients to awesome music are 1) good rhythm skills, and 2) exceptional listening and connection.  Right?

  • Now imagine being in a drum circle, surrounded by people whose rhythmic sensibility and playing skills range from Good to Excellent . . .
  • Whose very WHY of being there — of being a DCF — is about creating, listening, and connecting . . .
  • Who all understand and appreciate the transcendent potential of improvisational music-making — and have come there to make that happen.
  • Who, by meeting every night under the Hawaii stars for free-form-music making, progressively deepen the “In-the-moment” musical magic in a way that just doesn't happen anywhere else.

In fact, the music gets so good, I treat it as a sacrament.

In each Late Night session, I am partaking / exchanging / communing with the highest form of creativity I experience in this lifetime:  Being totally In The Moment with other Beings of Light, receiving, transmitting and weaving our musical impulses into gorgeous group songs.

For  me, THIS is my Why. This is the medicine I’m inspired to bring to others. Hawaii is my wellspring of affirmation, inspiration, and re-dedication to my craft.

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Shift happens

Reverberations from the Hawaii experience travel home with you, too. You return different, with an expanded sense of your capabilities and options. Seeds get planted that grow in new directions. Indeed, shifts first stirred in Hawaii have led to:

  • Romance
  • Marriage
  • Babies
  • Divorce
  • Career change
  • New businesses
  • Business partnerships
  • New paths of study
  • International travel opportunities
  • Coming outs of various kinds
  • Clarity with big life dilemmas & choices
  • Big leaps saying YES to follow dreams
  • Lives that change — sometimes radically
  • And many lifelong friendships around the world

In other words, attending a Village Music Circles Hawaii Playshop is a pivotal experience for people who use drumming and music with groups. If you've been to Hawaii before, it’s worth returning to get a big boost on your DCF path.

If you know other people who would like an experience like the Hawaii Playshop, please pass this on so they can learn more about it.  Even if attending this year isn’t in the cards, starting to imagine coming someday is the first step on that path.turtle by Rhonwyn

Tradewinds, turtles, and transformation await!


Mary-beach-200x200Mary Tolena's life changed completely after discovering hand drumming and drum circle facilitation.  Now dedicated to the rhythm path, Mary helps groups and teams go further, faster through her business, RhythmLift.  She was on the program staff of the 2016 Hawaii Playshop, and is helping with Arthur's Train-the-Trainer project. Mary serves the Drum Circle Facilitator community through event organizing and business development services.  Check out her new course, The Business of Drumming in Business,



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