My friends think what I do sounds risky. I suppose from the outside looking in, it might seem so. Firstly, we often surprise groups of adults in their place of work when they are least expecting it. Secondly, we expect them to put aside their current pressing thoughts, concerning the meeting or conference they are attending, to take part in a drumming team building activity – which may seem an alien exercise that no one but the event organiser has asked for.
In the first five seconds of every event we do, we often see a mix of reactions as we burst into the room playing drums or as everyone returns to the meeting room to be greeted by a mountain of drums! How is it then that, just minutes later, the room of perplexed faces has been replaced with a room of people smiling from ear to ear, playing cohesively together and feeling totally connected? The magical ingredient that drumming has over almost any other corporate team activity is simply the powerful human emotional response to rhythm.
Rest assured, this is not blind devotion to drumming events. I have witnessed, and often led, corporate teams in all manner of team building activities. I saw the passion when people scored a goal in the world’s largest inflatable human table football game. I facilitated small teams as they wrestled in terror in a jet flight simulator trying to land safely. I’ve also observed participants crying as they celebrated their success at walking over carpets of broken bottles and shards of glass!
After evaluating all the events that I have seen, in many different environments, I believe that nothing comes close to the individual and collective feelings of self worth and camaraderie that are generated from playing drums together.
Individuals respond to rhythm in different ways and this diversity of emotional responses are all valid and vital to the group experience. Some participants just inwardly ‘pulse’ as they play and smile. Some close their eyes and listen intently. Other ‘movers and shakers’ can’t contain themselves on the instrument!
All my life as a professional drummer, I have looked out from behind my drum kit while playing in bars, theatres and cruise ships and watched people in the audience. First, they nod their head, then sway, next tap a foot and then they are off! The rhythm has consumed them.
With our an infallible secret weapon of human emotional response, we know that our events are never as risky as they may seem. This is not to say that it’s always easy getting this response from everyone within a group, which is why our facilitators play such an important role. Our skilled facilitators guide each group to feeling safe and comfortable, and then instil in participants the desire to learn and care about their playing. Then, they give participants the freedom to create, which is where the magic happens.
The smiles come from sheer disbelief at what the team has been able to create together, supported by the physical vibrations, visual movement and amazing sound of the drums in the room. By starting with no expectations and building to a heightened sense of team communication, we end up with unique team building on a profound emotional level.
The only risk with our drumming events is choosing to do something else!
For more information, please contact us.