Stand outside the Three Rivers Arts Council building on a Saturday and listen very carefully. You might hear rhythms from percussion instruments that change and flow and are different minute by minute. You might hear someone playing a drum loudly, keeping the same consistent beat while the other drum sounds change. You may hear the same rhythms for some time. Or you may hear a beat that starts off disjointed, but ends up sounding like a cohesive sound.
Such is the beauty of a drum circle.
“Its sort of people being part of a communication, an ongoing communication,” John Heinz, who runs the circle at TRAC said. “Everyone eventually gets so that they are on the same beat.”
Heinz has been drumming for probably five or six years. He is a musician in the traditional sense as well, but for him, drumming is different.
“For me it’s a form of a meditation,” he said. “I enjoy the rhythms.”
The same experience is true for Patch’s own Dulcinea Hawksworth, who runs an ongoing drumming workshop in neighboring Crest Hill.
“It can be spiritually rewarding; it can be meditative,” she said.
Like Heinz, she believes anyone can drum and that the experience of music should be accessible to anyone.
“I don’t think that people should feel like they can’t play an instruments if they have not been formally trained,” she said.
Drumming in a circle or in a workshop does not require formal training. You can walk in off the street and begin to play. At the drumming workshop, instruments are provided, although attendees are welcome to bring their own if they have one. At the TRAC circle, limited drums are available for use. But Heinz encourages first-timers.
“All you have to do is be able to keep a rhythm,” he said.
Hawksworth has been drumming for a number of years as well and spent some time in the drum circle that used to meet at Bean Encounters in Minooka. Her drumming workshops now take place at Aunt Nina's Sweets and Treats, which used to be located in Shorewood, but moved to a larger space in Crest Hill. The drumming workshop takes place on the last Thursday of the month, except for February. The next drumming workshop is 6:30 p.m., March 1.
The next drum circle at TRAC is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., March 3.