Many years ago I attended a one day drumming workshop near to Muswell Hill in London where I was shown how to play the djembe drum, at the time I had two left hands and I guess I still do.
Anyway my reason for writing is that I wanted to share with you my experience of this amazing workshop. The instructor took us through various beats throughout the day and as we got progressively better he would up the momentum. He also taught us some traditional African chants as well with the idea that near the end of the workshop we would bring everything together, drumming and chanting.
There were thirty of us, so he split us into three groups and each group had to learn a different chant then we formed a circle and as with the french song Frère Jacques each group sang their chant, so one group started with their chant then followed by the next group and so on.
His team of helpers did the drumming and we went for it, once we were in full flow drumming and chanting together the workshop leader (I am sorry to say I do not remember his name) took each of us in turn into the middle of the circle and ask us to close our eyes and to experience the sound and feeling of the chants and djembs.
For me this was such a powerful moment that I share this story with others right up to today. This is what I experienced, as I shut my eyes I was instantly transported to a vast African plain and I was surrounded by thousands of African warriors young and old from all sorts of tribes and they too were chatting it was so emotive as they all focused just on me, telling you this now is sending tingles down the back of my head. I guess words cannot truly express how I felt in that moment, but what a moment of awareness of self and others of mother earth and all that she brings us, moments like these occur everyday its just that we have shut ourselves off from it.
I just want to finish by thanking the workshop leader and by thanking our ancestors for such a magic moment in my life.