Los Angeles, CA 2019

LA Playshop Wrap-up    June 2019

Hello My Friends,

We have just finished up our 3-day Playshop at the Legacy Center in the city of Tarzana CA, which is situated in North West Hollywood. It is a center that works with special needs populations, specifically the developmental disabled. The center’s motto is “Embracing Diversity - Enhancing Opportunity.” Alan Bruni does rhythm event programs with these people.

The center has found that their clients, whom otherwise are not able to use spoken words, can clearly express themselves in written form and reliably convey their true thoughts and ideas. The Center has printed their words all over the walls of the center such as, “Let yourself BELIEVE in the possibilities of the impossible” and “Find the INSPIRATION in your challenge.”And so thank you for giving us your beautiful facility for the weekend.

I was right in my last report!….

Because of how far and fast Alan Bruni and I were able to move our Playshop participants successfully through the VMC DCFacilitators training curriculum on the first day, we had a lot of room on Saturday for extra educational drum circle games that taught us about the potential musicality in rhythm based events.

We also had more Free Form experimental Jump Time. For one of the Free Form Jump Time sessions, we had our Advanced Challenge people waiting outside the circle in the aisle, ready to give a critique to the basic participants who had just finished jumping into the circle.

The Late Night sessions scheduled every night in our 6-day Hawaii Playshops are world famous. Everyone remembers the amazing magic of the depth of connections we create together. It is done in such a way that it feels like everyone in the circle is psychically, spiritually, and musically connected as one body and mind. It has been described, as if we were all being played by a many handed music goddess. But not many of us remember the first few days of the late night rhythm struggle in Hawaii to get to “THAT PLACE.”

There has been many a time at the DCFG conferences, or on the Saturday night of a 3-day Playshop, where we tried to do a “One Off” Late Night circle using the same “No Facilitation” rules as in Hawaii. But the loud chaotic YaYa grooving rarely ever naturally evolved to the softer, deeper listening grooves where we would be exploring the space in-between the notes. Instead the loud fast rhythms would just keep filling up the space between the notes with Blasts of YaYa.

SO! I have been experimenting with the rules around the Late Night tradition that I created in Hawaii. Lately, we have been dividing our Late Night session into two separate segments. The first half hour of Late Night would be dedicated to “Rhythm Exploration” with drums and percussion. It gives the hot shot drummers an opportunity to get their YaYas out. Only volume is facilitated for hearing safety, and venue rules.

Then, we instigated a half-hour of “Deep listening grooves” with soft dynamics, small drums, percussion, and the new REMO tone chimes called “Harmony Bars” (coming to a store near you soon). Of course, it went on for more than a half an hour.

It worked for our Saturday night session! We got to do a great YaYa rhythm groove for a solid half hour and then we switched channels to deep listening trance drumming.

AHHhhhh! A great way to wrap up a full Saturday Playshop. Nobody wanted to stop, even though we had to start up again at 9AM the next morning.

Sundays wrap-up was mostly a drum circle party with everyone fearlessly jumping into the circle and trying some outrageous stuff.

The Sunday Closing…

The REMO Music Center, has evolved into the Burbank Recreational Music Center, thanks to both, there is a strong recreational drumming community on the north side of the Hollywood hills. We were worrying that the city of Tarzana might be too far north and west for the north LA community to come out to our Sunday Closing community drum circle. But they showed up, and we had as many DC Guests as Playshop participants. For the beginning beginner facilitators who were facilitating their first community drum circle, and we had a few, there was a good mix of Guests verses support Shills.

At our community drum circle, we “Ran The Map” as a connected facilitation team. Alan did Opening Drum Call and monitored the event as the Basics facilitated the heart of the event. Then our TTT candidates Nancy Brauhn-Curnes and Matthew Kline were to do some orchestration sequences and REMO’s John Fitzgerald was suppose to do the closing of the event.

But Nancy took the group into a light Late Night style rhythm with the REMO tone chimes and created a great transitional piece with Matthew. And then Matthew took it even deeper into late night trance mode, prominently featuring the Harmony tone blocks (C-Pentatonic tuning), with some small light support percussion.

John Fitzgerald and I were standing next to each other and we looked at each other and said “Thats the closing.” So I went to my orchestration spot where I facilitate the facilitators from outside the circle, and gave Matthew some hand singles that told hime to “Continue to facilitate while bringing the rhythm to a close.” Which he did beautifully.

I commend John for having the facilitation maturity to recognize a good ending when he hears/feels/sees one, and for being the elder facilitator that he is, to be able to surrender his opportunity to do “The Closing Sequence” of a co-facilitated drum circle in order to allow the perfect ending to happen. As a Certified VMC Global Trainer, and member of our VMC Trainer support team, I would not expect anything else. He has my deepest respect.

This was great weekend with more Playshop graduate strings to put on the ball, and more trained, energized, and inspired facilitators released out into the field.

By setting up, organizing and co-facilitating the LA Playshop with me, Alan Bruni has completed the first part of his VMC Training-The-Trainer program with flying colors. Working with Alan was also a great start for our series of Co-Facilitated Playshop trainings scheduled throughout the US, the year and through winter of 2020.

Stay tuned and maybe I will be seeing you sometime soon in the States.

Life is a dance, when your sharing your spirit… Uncle Arthur {]]’;-)

DEMOGRAPHICS for the L.A. Playshop

11 School Teachers

15 Music Teachers

11 Drum Teachers

4 Music Therapist

1 Elderly related Professional

2 Adults At Risk Professionals

1 Kids at Risk Professional

6 Special Needs Professionals

5 Corporate Facilitators

2 Psychotherapist

2 Infant- Toddler Facilitators

2 Medical related, Doctors, Nurses and Health care Professionals

6 School Rhythm Event Facilitators

7 Community Drum Circles Facilitators

6  Drum Makers

15 Professional Musicians

All - Recreational Drummers

11 Culturally specific drummers

17  People Connected to nonprofit organizations