Drums! To many people the word means noise – loud noise. In truth, they set the background beat for most musical performances. But drums can also capture the rhythm of the mind, body and spirit through a little special training.
Toni Kellar does just that. Her programs, Roots to Rhythm, teach students and adults to explore their body’s rhythm through Drum Circles. Using percussion instruments and body movements, Toni helps others find their inner beat as their creativity is boosted.
While Toni did play the snare drum in high school as a member of her marching band, it wasn’t until later in life that she discovered hand-drumming. This opened new doors for her that she had never experienced before.
The name Roots to Rhythm developed as Toni felt that she was returning to her “roots” as she found a special way to share her love of “rhythm” with others. She uses the metaphor of a tree to explain her passion since the roots of the tree reach deep down for nourishment to provide food for the tree to branch out.
Her programs provide that nourishment. Starting with everyone sitting in a circle, Toni begins a basic beat on her drum, encouraging everyone to find their beat through their hands. In just a little while, she begins passing out shakers, wood blocks, and tambourines to let others experience the percussion instruments.
Some are reluctant to join the drumming at the beginning but that soon changes. Soon there is a sparkle in their eyes and a smile on their face as they play a drum for the first time in their lives, and feel a different rhythm in their body. Adults feel young again as they do something new that perhaps feels a little silly… but is so much fun.
Then it’s time for everyone to select their own percussion instrument. What excitement to choose the piece that suits your mood. Toni starts a beat but encourages everyone to find their own beat even if it doesn’t seem to match hers. Before long the beats blend together perfectly.
Then others are called to lead the beat and partners are selected across the room to match rhythms. Time flies by as the volume changes as well as the rhythm. Loud…then soft…loud…soft. Feel the relaxation taking place as the instruments reach a quiet level. Before the evening is finished, there was a feeling of oneness as drumming not only connects to their personal rhythm, but had joined the inner rhythm of everyone in the group.
One of Toni’s most rewarding experiences was in an assisted living community where the residents danced, sang and encouraged each other to join in the drumming. This is what normally happens in this setting. However, this time the residents were Alzheimer patients and it was the first time they had reached out for that kind of interaction with each other.
Group drumming not only has many health benefits, but it increases the closeness of people within a group. Roots to Rhythm provides programs for corporate and professional development, health and wellness, school and youth, as well as community groups.
Professional training becomes a requirement for learning methodology to lead drum circles. Toni has completed several drum circle facilitator programs and continues enriching her life with Drumming and World Percussion workshops.
Roots to Rhythm is not musical or spiritual, but directs everyone to express their inner rhythms. Some find relaxation, while others find it energizing – maybe even both at the same time.
For more information about Roots to Rhythm, contact Toni at http://www.rootstorhythm.com .