By Holly Brouker, Berkshire Wellness Coordinator
A drumming workshop took place at the Spectrum Playhouse Wednesday, April 24 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Eight Berkshire Center students and two staff participated in a powerful and educational experience of drumming together.
Aimee Gelinas creator of Gaia roots all women drumming and singing group was our instructor. Aimee has traveled to Cuba and has studied the West African cultures as well as led many groups in drumming workshops for all age groups and abilities. It was a delight to have her return to CIP for the students as she was a big hit as part of our Staff Wellness program in January.
Aimee informed the group of the different names of the instruments we were using, including Maracas, Agogo Bell, Clave, Djembe, Djun DJun, Krin, Conga, Shekere, Ashieko and Kata.
Every participant had their own drum and was offered to play one of the other instruments. We learned how to play a base sound and a higher sound called tone just by changing where and how to hit the drum with different parts of the hand and on a different place on the drum head.
We learned how to hold the drum for the best sound and how to keep the beat going by saying out loud: base, base, tone,.. tone,… tone, base and so on. The sound was magnificent and resonated throughout the Spectrum Playhouse. We sounded fantastic!
Aimee even taught us some Swahili songs to sing along with our drum playing. It was all so powerful and everyone was smiling and deeply engaged. Drumming is used in many cultures as a means of celebration and to bring families and friends together for special events.
This surely was a special event for the CIP participants and we are all anxious to have Aimee return again for another workshop in the near future.