Drums to thunder like a heartbeat in Central Park

Staff writer

Anyone with a name and a heartbeat is welcome to join the joyous noise at a drum circle in Central Park today during Marion Farm and Art Market.

The free “Drums in Central Park” event starts at 5:15 p.m. with a closed circle for fourth to sixth grade children, followed by an open circle for anyone at 6:15 p.m.

“I always start by drumming the rhythm of a heartbeat,” drum circle leader Mindy Graham said. “A heartbeat is a core rhythm. Everyone has one.”

Graham is a registered nurse who is also trained in conducting drum circles.

She said patrons should expect a non-threatening, open environment that will leave participants feeling happy and calm afterward.

“I’m not a drummer but I love rhythms,” she said. “I play with a lot of people who haven’t played drums, who think they have no rhythm, who are curious or maybe embarrassed or are introverted. The beauty of this is you don’t even have to talk. We just focus on our rhythms.”

Patrons should expect to speak their names to the circle as Graham incorporates the rhythm of the syllables of people’s names.

“We introduce ourselves with rhythms,” Graham said. “We come together and play with our instrument to find our own individual rhythm and combine our rhythms to make the music of us.”

Pam Byer has attended several drum circles conducted by Graham.

“She’s a really fun gal and it’s fun to see kids respond to her,” Byer said. “She has all sorts of bongo drums, shakers, tambourines, and maracas. It’s nice to see her sit and smile and visit with the kids.”

Byer said Grahams drum circles can be anywhere from rowdy to super cool and calm.

“She’ll go boom, boom, boom, on her drum, and the kids go boom, boom, boom right back,” Byer said. “It’s therapeutic. Everyone goes away from it feeling like they can play.”

People are welcome to bring their own drums and percussion instruments, Graham said.

Graham will return for another Central Park drum circle on Aug. 10.

The events are sponsored by Marion Parks and Recreation Department and Circles of Marion County.

Last modified July 21, 2016