Hello My Friends,

Friday, Day Two….

Including the cabins above the pond meadow, Wiston Lodge holds only 50 people (+ Staff).

Normally that is our number of participants in any Wiston Playshop 3-day, or 6-day and 10-day Mentor.

So at 65 participants, we are way beyond full capacity. With extra people shoved into staff members unoccupied personal cabins in the woods and another bunch of people staying in local B&Bs.

We are making full use of the ‘Activity room.’ It was built as an annex attached to the manor, by one well-to-do owner, as a small concert hall to entertain his dinner guests. We used to call it 'The Fridge'" until Paul got the heaters installed in the place.

With a training this big, we used our old ‘Training Lounges’ as breakout rooms and the Activity Room as our main training room.

When I arrived, Paul and Jane had a full plan for the training all laid out. They presented me with a MAP of the training, knowing that The Map Is Not The Territory. We pretty much followed that plan while making many small adjustments to it as we interacted with the group. So as Playshop trainers, we were Following The People Who Were Following Us. At the same time we were Working With What They were Giving Us.

Basically we were applying all the concepts that we used as facilitators facilitating a drum circle, to the job description of trainers training a group in drum circle facilitators. The RADARs, Teaching - or - facilitating radars, are all the same, but some of the their applications are a little different.

Keep in mind that this training started on Thursday night instead of Friday, so our Friday is a FULL Day, 9 AM till Late Night. Saturday will also be a full day. Both days will have had a full Late Night… Ohhhh Late Night!

Barry Wakefield did the opening drum call on Friday morning. He has been with our UK facilitation family since his first Playshop in 2004. He has participated in nearly every Playshop that we have done in the UK since then. Way too many to keep count.

Barry had Parkinson’s when I first met him and he continues to do his damnedest to hold back it’s perversive and progressive deteriorating effects.

I have watched his Parkinson’s disease escalate over the years, but it doesn’t stop him for a minute. His constant struggle is to fight through his Parkinson’s when it tries to swallow him up in it’s contortions. He shines through it and is usually very successful at doing so.

He always takes a full and active part in the Playshop process. He is a Jun-Jun man. In Playshop One he volunteered to do the opening drum call at the beginning of day 2. Barry was tasked to represent and demonstrate the beginning of the basic VMC drum circle facilitation protocol that Dr. Jane, Paul and I will be teaching during the next 3 days. He knew the job description very well, BUT! Barry is his own man, and does everything “His Way!”

As an example, when he first mentioned to me that he was going to develop and teach a drumming therapy training, I cautioned him saying that “In America, you don’t put the words, ‘drumming’ and ‘therapy’ in the same sentence.” Barry replied with a big smile, “This is not America.” Then within two years, he organized and directed what has become the well respected “Therapeutic Drumming Foundation” in the UK. Barry’s therapeutic drumming work has established itself as an excepted protocol that is now used in many parts of Europe.

So when he jumped into the middle of our Saturday Playshop drum circle, he did the Drum Call “His Way.”

Barry always comes up with his own new body language signals at every DC he facilitates, one half of the Playshop participants who were returnees, knew to “Expect the Unexpected.” But the basics ‘newbee’ half of the DC participants had never seen Barry facilitate before and might have expected an “Arthurian” style facilitation. Ho Ho Ho! OH NO!

YES and NO!  I am not sure which was more interesting, watching Barry do his beautifully unique facilitation or watching the newbees chins drop as they watched Berry facilitate a fantastic DC event, but in a totally different and entertaining way that they never saw before.

In actuality, Barry followed all the standard VMC Drum Circle Protocols: Teach the Body Language - Direct the players attention to the elements that make a DC work - (Teaching without Teaching) - Sculpting songs that represent ; #1- Rhythm Connection, #2- Interactive dialogue, #3- Melody-line and Musicality - Facilitate self-facilitation, etc. He just did it HIS WAY. Perfect! We are looking for authenticity, not necessarily Arthurianism. {]]’;-)

It was impossible to scribe or critique Barry’s very unique Drum Call, so we had Mr. Song from Korea do the “Drum Call” as a Challenge assignment later on during the day.

I scribed Mr. Song’s Drum Call interventions and did a critique afterwards. Song is some what of a rock star in his own country and a consummate performer. His Drum Call was very spirited and entertaining.  Besides covering the Dictator/Instructor - Director & Beginning of Facilitator Protocol Job Descriptions, Song, at the same time, delivered and demonstrated the 7 elements of drum call;

  • Take responsibility for the physical circle
  • Teach the facilitator’s body language
  • Define the roles
  • Establish trust
  • Teach without teaching
  • Orchestrate self-facilitation
  • Read the group

Dr. Jane and Paul co-taught the full program today. From time to time, they allowed me to come from behind my corner desk to add some color. But basically they had the Playshop very well covered. Our program has progressed at the 3 Point Radar Exercise by supper time on Friday evening. We did an extended full group free form jump time after dinner that went into some musicality games, (our third musicality piece today), that led us into a full-on fully spirited late night.

Late-late night was extra special for me. “There is nowhere to go Because were already There.”

A happy and exhausted group finished up the technicality part of the VMC Playshop training in one very full day. Tomorrow, there will be a lot more playing, musicality and Free Form Jump Time.

Goodnight!

Life is a dance  

Arthur