After growing up on Siesta Key and being in Sarasota for most of my life, I thought it was probably about time that I visit Siesta Key Beach during the bewitching hour one Sunday night . . . that’s the hour before sunset every Sunday night on the beach. So, away we went on that Sunday evening, a couple of weeks ago with my children in tow.
Drum circles are probably one of the most ancient forms of community building known to man. In the drum circle, people who are not necessarily professional musicians come together to create an improvised composition that becomes the score for their own lives. The drum circle provides a portal into musical expression, making it an accessible experience for anyone at any age or level of ability. In it’s simplest form, the drum is an accessible tool for creative expression.
Drum circles are happening in many places. This demonstrates the importance of establishing a rhythmaculture in our Western world. People attend these events not to become better percussionists, but to reduce stress, build community, and have fun. It is a recreational activity that engages the mind, body, and spirit. Arthur Hull, father of the modern day drum circle, developed his unique approach to facilitating drum circles in the 1980s through an observation of the need that extended beyond percussion skill development. According to Arthur, “when we drum together, it changes our relationships and helps us cope with whatever challenges life hands us.”
So if you get a chance, stop by Siesta Key Public Beach in Sarasota, Florida, on Sunday nights about an hour before sunset. You can’t miss the crowds as they will gather just behind the main pavilion. Bring a chair and a camera. You won’t believe it until you sit in the drum circle!