Are you suffering a lack of play? Try hand drumming

Photo courtesy Paul Roberts
Participants in the hand-drumming class delight in the joy of making music.

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at noon.

The class offers a welcoming environment that encourages fun, creativity, playfulness and connecting with others. Hand drums are provided for those who don’t have one. Even participants who have no experience playing a musical instrument can immediately get into the groove.

Stuart Brown is president of the National Institute for Play, a nonprofit that encourages the study and promotion of play. Brown claims that we’re suffering from a national play deficit.

“It’s a public health problem,” he warned. “Depression, anxiety and irritability are all symptoms of a lack of play.”

“We almost have a guilt about it,” said Susan Magsamen, senior adviser to the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute and Science of Learning Institute. “Giving yourself permission to enjoy things makes all of your life fuller and richer. When children play, they’re learning how to collaborate, empathize, solve problems and persevere. Play awakens the sort of thinking that leads us to write novels, compose music, design buildings and make scientific discoveries. Our exceptional capacity for play sets the stage for all of humanity’s great advances.”

Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.”

Adults often dismiss play as just fun; however, research suggests play is essential to our social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being.

The joy of music is a portal to the magical world of play. The drumming class is an opportunity to help reverse our national play deficit, to joyfully engage in a creative process, share a bonding experience with others, exercise brain and body, refresh and recharge.

“When I left Paul’s drumming class, I felt like my brain had been massaged,” said a participant.

“Paul’s drumming sessions are delightful,” said Pam Spitler. “It almost feels like when he guides me through the rhythms that I’m able to get in touch with a primal, creative part of myself that must have been hiding some place.”

For more information about the hand-drumming class, email or call 731-3117. The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.