The Drum Zen Foundation celebrates the role of music in balancing our everyday lives. Specifically the importance of cultivating focus, discipline and refining oneself through practicing an art.
Drumming, especially, attracts people that move fast! Intelligent and motivated souls. And through the full-engagement that the practice offers, it provides a path to peace and an ability to slow down once in a while!
If not drums, then how?
We all have our natural tempos, we speed up to get things done, we slow down to savour the rewards of our hard labours. But this is not always so simple, we are contending with a body full of chemicals and hormones that randomly fire us in myriad directions. Drumming trains us to become more aware of our own tempo and learn to control not only our own tempo, but that of others around us. Well, it is the very essence of our job in a band; we keep time, we maintain a tempo as a foundation for other musicians to build upon.
Drums as a Meditation?
In order to be relaxed enough to inspire an audience to dance, we must be completely relaxed ourselves. That means we must override our territorial fight-or-flight impulses. These are the random firings of thoughts and emotions that have the potential to deviate our tempos. Only through controlling our own minds, can we cultivate a calm and peaceful control of tempo. That's not to say we only play slowly! Instead, no matter how fast or intense the performance gets, there is still an underlying awareness of one's mental state.
A healthy way to express excess nervous energy, a way to focus the mind and gain control of one's thoughts and reactions to thoughts, improving coordination and generally having fun. There is definitely a meditative quality to our rhythmic practice and we can find a peaceful solace and connection in enlivened repetition. We expand our awareness to perform automatically and focus our ears and attention on supporting those around us. This practice extends to our every interaction. Drummers stick together, drummers support the people around them, because we know that when left on our own we tend to make a racket! We support others to feel the colours that we can't always produce on our own.
Drum Zen. Master the basics. Master the art.
Why 'Drum Zen'?
Drum Zen encompasses two main principles: the discipline of martial arts and the meditative quality of playing any musical instrument.
Playing the drums is very therapeutic and can be a brilliant way to healthily express your emotions and energise your body and mind.
Practicing any musical instrument gives us a sensitivity and discipline that enriches all other areas of our lives. Playing the drums is truly a skill that takes a lifetime to master, but it is also one of the most rewarding and exciting instruments to learn.
To play a drum groove for the four-minute duration of an average song requires a strong clarity of mind and a healthy body. Both physical and mental wellbeing are a by-product of learning the drums
Drums are the oldest instrument on the planet, rhythm is the one language that can truly unite the world because we all 'speak' it. Sometimes the sense of rhythm will be latent in the individual but it can always be awoken!