A Drum Circle Leadership workshop was not something I expected to come into at the office on Thursday morning.

Jim Donovan, former member of the band Rusted Root, led the program to teach group music-making while also teaching how to improve personal wellness, teamwork and leadership skills. In the program we were taught breathing exercises to use to tame our anxiety and stress levels. As someone who suffers from social anxiety, I have used similar breathing exercises many times and was happy to learn a few more. Sleep deprivation is a problem many people suffer from. Jim explained to us that our brains love patterns, and that a simple pattern of tapping on our knees could help slow our brains to ease into sleep at night. We had a lot of fun creating music and playing patterns on the African drums he brought. We also had to work together in a leadership activity, where we were challenged to create a wild and energetic piece of music using various percussion instruments including maracas, cow bells, plastic tubes, and mallets. I especially enjoyed this part because I was a percussionist for my school band for 3 years in grade school. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn in an unconventional creative way, and I left work with more tools to use in everyday life.


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