These are ideas I had after the Remo Healthrhythms drumming class, and thoughts on creating circles of people in general. This is a work in progress.
Create a safe space. Comfortable chairs, temperature is moderate. Have choices for chairs so different bodies can fit. Flat cushions, zabuton, rugs. Chairs. Or all the same? Do you want people all at the same eye level, or options?
Ask about any issues, sensitivity. Loud sounds, noise, crowds.
Be considerate of food and water needs. Supply choices.
Remind people that they can take care of their needs – bathroom, water, snack. They don’t have to wait for the group to take a break.
Plan for a variety of breaks so people can stretch, talk, decompress. Have a venue with a lot of different spaces for people to go to, including outside.
Vegas rules – what happens here stays here. Get all to agree. Confidentiality. Don’t talk about what someone says or does – good or bad.
A couple of questions to start – What is your favorite kind of ice cream? How do you fold a towel? These are ways to show that we all have individual ideas, and just because they are different doesn’t make them wrong.
Ground rules – have the group create the list. Discuss. Ask – Does anyone have a problem with anything? Is everyone able to abide by these rules? Don’t proceed until you get an agreement. The discussion during this part alone is part of the experience. How do we work through conflict?
Ask everyone to turn off cell phones so we can be fully present with each other.
Tell people to ask questions – if you are thinking it, there is probably someone else who is thinking it too. You may answer someone else’s question or fix someone else’s issue.
Don’t say “beat” the drum. It reminds people of abuse.
Don’t make it like musical chairs where somebody will be left out. Always have extra instruments so everybody has a choice.
Before the event – send out info to participants about needing to wear comfortable clothes – especially pants. It is difficult to play some drums wearing a skirt. If they are going to use their hands to play a drum (not a mallet) they need to not wear any rings because it can hurt your hand and hurt the drum head.
Assure people that there is no right way to play. Mistakes are where the magic happens.
Ask for what you need.
In the shaker pass icebreaker game, say it is ok to drop the shaker. If you drop it, let it stay. Model this in the first round.