We were introduced to drums, when Kats Swanepoel came to stay for a while by us. Our “family” circle was expanding and thought it would be a great idea to have a monthly gathering where likeminded people could come together and enjoy an evening of laughter, socialising and beating their hearts out on the drums. And that is how our Stilbaai drumming Circle started.
Anthea Nell tells us more about the Drumming Circle in Stilbaai.
Our first evening was held outside, but due to the onset of colder weather we moved inside,where it is much more cosy and the sound of the drums is just amazing. Everyone brings their own refreshments and wors and rolls. With a glowing fire inside, the wors gets braaied by myself for all those who come. We normally start anytime from 6.00pm until the group starts to leave( but on a average around 10.00pm), no set time. It’s very informal and a friendly gathering. Greetings tend to take a good few minutes as lots of hugs, kisses and chattering happens. There after each one without been told, grabs a drum and starts to play, until everyone has joined in (there are not set rules, just pure enjoyment and relaxation). There are always a few bystanders that sit out and listen and join at a later stage. But this does not bug anyone.
People ask why do we drum, well for different reasons. Each person has their own reasons, whether the person is beating out their stress, sending energy out into the world, to heal their soul(or others) or just to play music.
I just love the sound of it and can sit and listen how a group of people can get together and within moments come together in harmony and play some awesome music that touches your soul. Whether it’s a person doing a single tap, or a double tap or a intricate beat, or even someone that doesn’t have a beat, they all in the end flow together and find a rhythm. Some people in the beginning are scared to pick up a drum and play, but we encourage them as we do not believe in that one has to be a professional to play the drum. It’s about what is in your heart and to enjoy yourself.
In-between all the drumming once the food is ready, everyone has their wors rolls, chat a bit and then grabs the drums again. And that is how the evening goes until it’s time to go home.The majority of our drums are handmade by my dad. ( See photo). His ambition is to have enough drums so that whoever joins us for an evening won’t be without a drum. He has made some truly amazing drums, and this from a person who has never made a drum before.I would say our whole goal/ideal is to provide a platform for those who have other interests, to be able to get together and communicate openly. This is a non-religious or conformist gathering. There is no age restriction, young and old are welcome. Open to all.

Anthea on the subject of taking drumming to the schools:
As for the schools, I think it is a great idea. I have seen myself how the drums can open up a child that would normally be shy and withdrawn. Seen how a person can express themselves with the drum better than in words. I think it would be a magical tool for kids, especially for kids with special needs. Although all children would benefit from it, even the teachers. In a group, playing together you bond and express yourself. If I had to start up a group like that I would not force the group to follow any hard rules. But to let each person find their own rhythm, of course some basic guidance given. But I firmly believe that each person should not be conformed to play as one wants them to play, but rather they should find their own beat and rhythm. Next Drumming Circle Meeting Sat. 20 Aug 2016  

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