There was a strong sense of impatience permeating the entryway into the ballroom. Two hundred business executives were standing by waiting for the ballroom doors to open so they could enter and get started with the conference they were there to attend. In an effort to transcend the annoyance they were feeling at the ballroom doors being locked, they pulled out their smart phones and continued with business, or maybe some facebook surfing, in an effort to feel (or at least look) productive. Suddenly, the sound of drums coming from inside the ballroom got everyone’s attention. Then the doors swung open with the long awaited invitation to enter.
As these executives entered the room they were not only greeted by the drumming, but also the surprising sight of drums on all two hundred of the chairs, beckoning them to sit down and play along with the drummers on stage. For some of these execs this was a fabulous dream come true. For others, it was incredibly intimidating – creating a sense of trepidation and anxiety which are feelings that no executive wants to project, so these feelings were channeled as an air of “I’m too cool to sit down and drum.”
That sense of apprehension is due to some antiquated but still common myths about drumming. Like most things, what we do not understand we typically fear or reject. It is a predictable and normal reaction to the unknown; and yet so very unfortunate for we often end up snubbing something that has the potential of having immense value and even changing our life. With drumming, there is often a misconception of it being a hippie-dippy kind of thing, and some dismiss it because they think you need a sense of rhythm. These are both erroneous beliefs that I’m going to dispel.
Let’s begin by dispelling the myth around some people having a lack of rhythm. The truth is we are wired for rhythm. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – if you have a heart beat, you have rhythm. Granted, it can appear to be a bit repressed in some folks, but we promise, all it takes is a little surrender to get out of your head and in to your body, where rhythm lies. Once we get there and realize that we do in fact have rhythm and we can in fact play a drum (everyone can); there is an intense, powerfully ecstatic “A-HA” moment that is absolutely, unforgettably priceless.
The other myth we’d like to dispel is that of drumming being a “hippie-dippy” kind of thing. It is extremely doubtful that the thousands of executives we have drummed with would consider themselves hippies. (And there are many rock-stars out there that would throw a drumstick at the nearest person claiming they’re hippies!) From Virgin America to Microsoft and Intel, our unassuming clients are open-minded enough to throw back their ties and kick off their pumps to experience the most revolutionary and sought-after corporate team-building program around. We hear overwhelmingly positive feedback after our interactive drumming programs, and have the testimonials to boot! This is because our programs are absolutely like no other—they are incredibly powerful and even life-changing for some. They are designed and choreographed in a succinct, easy to follow method that draws precise, identifiable parallels to the concepts of team building, leadership awareness, community, working together, and understanding one another. The only connection I see between the ever-so-iconic hippies and what we do is: open-mindedness. And, unfortunately, that is something that the naysayers out there don’t seem to have.
Drumming can bring a group of people together, united and playing the same pulse in a matter of minutes. There is no win or lose – everyone is participating and part of the music making process. Everyone’s contributions are recognized and valued. It is simultaneously energizing and stress releasing. Drumming saves meetings and company gatherings from the horrid death by PowerPoint. Even without PowerPoint, how many of you have fallen asleep to the voice of a keynote speaker? People walk, and dance (!), away from our programs inspired, uplifted, united and feeling like rock stars.
Fortunately, our facilitators are expertly skilled in transforming the misunderstood feelings of trepidation or uncertainty. Even those who front the “too cool to drum” façade feel the subtle powerful influence of the creeping exhilaration that is flooding the room and surrender to giving it a try. Of course that’s all it takes – and another drumming fan is born. We see it every day. More importantly, however, is the sense of feeling connected to and part of the community as a whole. That, coupled with a kinesthetic awareness of value and contribution to the overall success of the team’s efforts, is what makes our programs truly successful.
With a growing list of incredible clients, we’re not alone in this movement toward a more evolved way of team-building in corporate America. So, if you’ve experienced the power of group drumming, please share your insights with us and others so we can bust these myths and spread the word. Leave us a comment here or join the conversation and community on our Facebook page. Join the open-minded movement … we would love to hear from you.