Connect with others at Tuesday hand-drumming sessions


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, Aug. 7, at noon.

The class offers a welcoming environment that encourages fun, creativity, playfulness and connecting with others. Drums are provided for those who do not have one. Designed as an opportunity for people of all ages to unleash their creativity, the drumming class is a family-friendly activity. No previous experience is necessary.

In an article titled “Rhythmicity: A Powerful Force for Experiencing Unity and Personal Connections,” psychologist Henry W. Maier writes, “Have you noticed that when people jog, dance, or throw a frisbee in rhythm with each other, they seem to experience momentary bonding and a sense of unity? At these and other moments of joint rhythmic engagement, they discover an attraction for each other regardless of whether there has been a previous sense of caring. In fact, it is almost impossible to dislike a person while being rhythmically in ‘sync.’ Rhythmicity provides a ‘glue’ for establishing human connections.”

Maier cites a study of playground behavior where children were filmed running and skipping, seemingly at random. When the film is slowed down, the children appear to be moving in synchrony to a definite rhythm. Other studies, which analyze factors such as gestures and heart rate, suggest that people who are engaging in conversation and activities tend to become rhythmically in sync with one another.

Although little seems to be known about the neural basis for this phenomenon, positive effects of being rhythmically synchronized are immediately obvious when a group of drummers get together. Drummers can easily get into the groove, and experience a gratifying sense of immersion and energized focus, by shaping their own tonal landscape through a shared sense of interpersonal synchrony.

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