Beijing 2018 Report

A Bum Stopcut in CHINA - May 2018

Bum Stopcut …I have seen many kinds of facilitation Stop Cuts in my lifetime, but this was a first.

At the end of his exercise, Choupang made an attention call prior to a full group stop cut. Then he crossed his hands over his head in preparation to stop the groups music. But instead of stepping forward to bring his hand down for the cut, or jumping up to land the stop cut on the one, as he brought his hands down for the stop cut, he kicked both feet straight out in front of him so that he landed flat on his butt on the floor, stopping the full group ensemble of 78 players on the one.

I was told that he grew up in a Chinese acrobatic circus family.

Hello My Friends,
I have just returned from facilitating our first 6-day DCFacilitators program in Beijing China.

In the last 5 years I have done fourteen 3-day drum circle facilitation Playshop trainings all over China. There has been astounding results in such a short time.

  • Where most Playshop populations all over the world have been around 30-40 people, the average Chinese Playshop population has been 75 or more.
  • There are regular community accessible drum circles now being held in a number of large Chinese metropolitan cities, where recreational drumming wasn’t even a concept a few years before. In most of my 3-day China Playshops, I can now count 10-15 people who are doing family-friendly community drum circles.
  • There are now hundreds of VMC-trained school teachers using rhythm-based events in their classroom. Thanks to REMO and KHS Music, there are many schools in China that have REMO drum kits capable of serving a playing population of 70 or more.
  • The Chinese Music Therapy community has embraced rhythm-based events with gusto. Music Therapists comprise at least one-half of any of my VMC Playshop populations in China.
  • The West African Tam Tam drumming community in China has been passing my name around. The result is that there are always a handful of good African drummers in my trainings that I have been able to utilize.

At an average of 75 people in each program, that amounts to around a thousand Chinese VMC Playshop graduates so far. So... China was more than ready for a 6-day Playshop.

I bring home some pretty big balls of string and ribbon.  {]]’;-)

Because we have been using a special 3 -Level system in the weekend Playshops in China, we have incorporated Level #1 (Basic), #2 (Challenge), and #3 (Mini Mentor) into our full 6-day program, all at the same time. If the regular 6-day Playshop in the western world is a Checkers Board Game, then this China 6-day program was a full on Chess Game.

In this program, we incorporated many people with diverse powers, abilities, and different levels of experiences, and that has lead them towards a powerful learning community.

For instance, during the second exercise Jump Time, (Half group Sculpting), while the Level 1 participants jumped in and did the basic exercise, the Level 2 participants jumped in as well, using the jump time as a Challenge exercise.

Then when their turn was finished, both Level 1 and 2 people would walk out of the circle to meet a Level 3 participant who would give then a “Mild - Sandwich critique” and then send them back into the circle to join the group groove.

Sandwich critique:

  • Bottom Bread = Complementing something they did right.
  • Then add onto the bread = a mild critique on the most effective element that will improve their facilitation.
  • Topping it off = with another piece of complimentary Bread.

    This China 6-day – 3 level experiment has been a completed process, much like juggling balls, but it worked.

Tonny, my VMC China Regional Organizer, says he wants me to do a 6-day Playshop + three or four 3-day Playshops scattered around China each year.

After the 6-day program in Beijing, I flew down to Guangzhou for a 3-day Playshop. I will be back in China in November to do three more weekend Playshops around the country.

Guangzhou is situated in Southern China. It is a massive spread out metropolis that is much bigger than LA. Similar to Tokyo and Los Angeles, it has a number of different city centers. The third largest river in China, the Zhejiang, runs through the city to the coast a few miles away, making Guangzhou a perfect port city.

It took an hour to drive from the airport, through the city, to the part of Guangzhou where this Playshop was held.

Gelatin, pronounced phonetically Galitetur meaning "Great Light” is the name of the massive kindergarten complex where we held our 3-day program last year and again this year. As our beautiful music/performance room was situated above their nap room, we coordinated our lunch breaks with the Kindergarten kids nap time.

How I ran our first China 6-day in Beijing has effected how we will run our 3-days in China in the future. I am now using the Level 3 participants as critiquers for the Level 1 and 2 participants, when they jump in and do freeform jump time assignments. Jim Boneau and I may try this technique at the Hawaii Playshop.

See you there...

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