Germany 2016 Report – Part 1

Hello My Friends…

At the 6-day VMC Playshop in Deutschland last year, I drew an outline of Germany on a large poster paper. I put a dot on the map near the center where the city of Kassel is, saying that I have visited Kassel so many times and for so many years that I didn’t really know where any other city was on the map.

I had the participants come up and put a dot on the map as to where they lived and write the name of the city and their name next to the dot. It was at that time I announced that I was determined to do a Germany DrumAbout on the 2016 European Playshop tour. I needed to visit the national recreational drumming community that Mathias Reuter, the German VMC graduates and I have built over the years.

Benjamin Flohr has been working as an independent facilitator for years. He has attended at least 5 or 6, 3-day Playshops and was at the 6-day Germany Playshop in 2015. He will be at the 10-day Scotland Mentor program in 2016.

Over the years Ben had also been working on a number of projects in conjunction with GEWA, our REMO distributor in Germany. When Nico from GEWA, and I discussed how to implement the DrumAbout, he suggested filling up a truck van full of drums and have Ben drive me around the country.

That was a year ago, and between then and now, Ben has joined the GEWA organization as the “John Fitzgerald” of Germany. His title is “GEWA Drum Circle / Health Care and Recreation.” We will have to work on that. {]]’;-)

Ben works from his home and has enough autonomy to serve the community that he has built in his region, and at the same time, help GEWA connect and support other recreational drumming communities and facilitators throughout Germany.

One of the projects that he is working on is to offer free introductory drum circles in schools throughout the country, co-facilitate them with the local DCFacilitators in the area, and then hand the School gigs over to those facilitators. Yea!!!  What a great Idea!

He sent his proposal into the German school system and got 60 positive responses from all over the country within days. It’s a GO!

This DrumAbout is another major project for Ben. When he put the question out to the VMC community of facilitators as to who wants to host a VMC event in their community. Ben was swamped with requests, and had to make some hard decisions. As I said in my last report, "If we could have said YES to everyone, I would have had to spend a month and a half in Germany and visit 30 to 40 well-established drumming communities."

Ben has put together a fantastic team of local VMC graduate organizers for each city. I will introduce them to you as we travel through Deutschland.

He has also printed up full-color trifold flyers that are specific to each city with lots of pictures, a description of a facilitated family-friendly drum circle, and a description of a RAP and/or a Universal Hand-Drumming Workshop depending on the schedule. Then he sent them to their respective local organizers to distribute.

We start in the North of Germany and zig-zag our way down to the South. Now that the plan is set, we have figured out that we will end up driving more than 3,400 kilometers (2,200 Miles), doing a combination of 14 RAPs, Universal Hand-Drumming Workshops and Drum Circles in 9 cities, all in the next 9 days… whew!!

I will send you reports intermittently as we drive down the autobahn from one city to the next. Today we are in the city of Luebeck on the North coast of the Baltic Sea doing a Universal Principles of Hand-Drumming Workshop, followed by a family-friendly community drum circle.

Life is a dance...   Arthur