Part 5: Orchestra Conductor, Orchestrating The Group’s Music And Spirit
By Arthur Hull
This is the final chapter in a series of five articles and video installments that describe and demonstrate the four stages of the Village Music Circles Drum Circle Facilitation Protocol, which takes you through the four basic stages of how to successfully facilitate a family-friendly community drum circle experience.
In this final installment, your drum circle has been in progress for around one hour. You have already facilitated your drum circle from the early stages of individual and group playing consciousness towards ensemble playing consciousness. Your group is at a place where the participants have reached a high level of listening and collaboration, resulting in rhythm connections that go beyond creating good grooves together. There is music in the rhythms.
Through your facilitation, you have guided them to a place where “Rhythm Connection” has become a platform for interactive rhythm and musical dialogue between the players. That “interactive dialogue” can easily be facilitated as a platform to help them create identifiable “melody lines” amongst the drums and percussion being played. Sculpting and showcasing those musical melody lines raises the musicality of the whole group, step by simple step. Even though there are no stringed instruments or horns in your drum circle, your players are playing beyond ensemble consciousness and creating music together. You have facilitated them to Orchestrational Consciousness. Now what?
Now it is time for you to move from acting as their Drum Circle Facilitator to being their Musical Orchestra Conductor.
The focus in this last segment of the video is directed towards earning the group’s trust in order to take them further into musicality, as you facilitate more sophisticated compositional rhythm sequences. Some of those sequences can be seen in the video. While creating a supportive relationship with your group, at this stage of the group’s progress, you should be trusting them as much as you want them to trust you. At this stage of the drum circle event the group of players now know that you can take them on a rhythmical/musical journey that they could not go on without you help. With their permission as their Orchestra Conductor, you want to play with and orchestrate their music by “following the people who are following you” and by “working with what they give you”!
Sometimes you don’t have to make a facilitation plan in the drum circle. All you have to do is listen deeply to the music being created in the circle and the music will tell you what to do next. Remember that by this time in your event, your drum circle group is well connected and fully collaborating in making spirited rhythm music together. A good question to ask yourself at this stage of the drum circle event is, How can I serve this group at this moment?”. You will fined the answer in their music. If you have done your job well, you have facilitated “self facilitation” in the group. That means that you have successfully facilitated yourself out of a job.
So if they don’t need you at any particular musical moment and the groove is solid, then GOOW - Get Out Of the Way - OR - Get Out Of “their Way,” and let them play.
If you have read all the articles in this series and watched the whole video on the front of our Village Music web page, then you realize that by following the simple four step Village Music Circle DC Facilitation Protocol, facilitating a drum circle does not have to be rocket science. To me, the most important thing you can do to facilitate a group of drum circle participants to the magic of music-making with drums and percussion is for you to Share Your Spirit while helping them share there’s.
Our Village Music Circle motto is, “Facilitating Human Potential Through Rhythm.” You can do it, one beat at a time.