Ashley Tisdale

Ashley Tisdale is a board-certified music therapist and accredited drum circle facilitator working in the greater Charlotte area. Over the last 6 years, Ashley has facilitated drum circles and taught several continuing education courses on basic percussion playing skills and facilitation techniques in North and South Carolina.

Ashley facilitates monthly circles at N-Motion studio in Tega Cay, SC and at the Heartlight Spiritual Center in the University area of Charlotte. She also gives her time and abilities to the local non-profit organization DrumSTRONG, who provides drum circles to raise funds for cancer survivorship and research in the Charlotte area and around the world. In her work as a board-certified music therapist, Ashley works primarily with children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provides piano, ukulele, and drum set lessons for students of any age and ability.

Every drumming event Ashley facilitates there is a question that is asked and answered, "What can I do to serve the circle?" In watching the group's connection, listening deeply to the rhythms at play, and feeling the energy of the group, Ashley facilitates the circle to take them on their our rhythmical journey, to elevate the group's musicality, and deliver them to their own rhythmic bliss. Music and rhythm have always been a part of Ashley's life, and she is excited to share the joy and empowerment that it can bring with all of you!

1. How have you incorporated the principles of the Arthurian Triplicities into your Drum Circle Facilitation practice?

In my studies and application of my facilitation tools, I find myself referring back to the triplicities frequently. To understand your circle as a facilitator, you have to understand triplicities and how every aspect of your circle; from the participants, to the environment, to the instruments, to the spirit, to your own person, are made up of the triplicities. Balance is key in all aspects of the triplicities and as a facilitator, I make it a point to manage that throughout each one of my events and interventions.

2. What does the "Trust" Triplicity mean to you as a Rhythm event facilitator?

Honesty, Rapport, and Congruency make up the Trust Triplicity. In order to be honest with your group, you must be honest with yourself and be your authentic self. Putting on a show or trying to be someone you're not while you're facilitating turns people away. You start building rapport by being your honest, authentic self, and by clearly communicating expectations- talking the talk, walking the walking, and talking the walk.The rapport you set up during drum call, dictates the potential relationship with your participants through the rest of the event. Lastly, congruency is an agreement of sorts between yourself as the facilitator and the group's vision (not literally). Are you leading, or are you following? Answer is: Yes.

The Trust Triplicity shows your participants that you are there for the benefit of the rhythmical spirit of the group. That you pledge to be authentically yourself, that you won't abuse your relationship with them by over facilitating, and that you will uncover/ discover/ recover the rhythmical spirit that the group possesses and set them up for success.

3. How does incorporating the elements of the “Intuitive Skills” Triplicity improve your Drum Circle facilitation?

The Intuitive Skills triplicity is made up of Awareness, Adaptation, and Rapport. If you are aware of what is happening in the circle, you are in the "here and now", the present, and you are able to give your undivided attention to the group, to the music, and the spirit of the group. In awareness comes adaptation. Being here now allows you to adapt to any of the needs of the group. That kind of flexibility; to go with the ebb and flow of the group, helps build more rapport with the group. Working with these intuitive skills, helps me as the facilitator, read the group, assess where we are, where the potential is, adapt to fit the needs, and facilitate spirit.

4. Evaluate where you are in developing a professional Rhythm event facilitation career using the “Career Development” Triplicity.

I will say the Career Development triplicity is one that is the most intimidating to me, especially as a newer facilitator in the beginning. But as I continued to apply myself in my trainings and connect in the community, I found where my strengths and areas of need are. The Career Development triplicity is comprised of Share Your Rhythmical Bliss, Serve Your Community, and Develop Business Skills.

Every time I step in the circle, I share my rhythmical bliss, that is my authentic self - the music draws it out of me so there's really no way to keep that from showing up! Serving my community is how I got started on my facilitation journey through my work with DrumSTRONG and I continue to do so by through my work as a music therapist and drum circle facilitator. I serve my Charlotte community through my circles and sessions. I also serve as Conference Chair for the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild to bring fun, fulfilling, and educational sessions to my facilitation community. Developing Business Skills has been one of my most challenging tasks and has been an ever evolving segment of this triplicity. I love connecting with my community through drumming, whether it's to beat cancer, to support social justice reform, or just to get people together - connecting others through rhythm builds the community and the spirit. Putting a price on those interactions has been difficult, but at the end of the day - everyone walks away happy - and that is good business to me 🙂