Students Play Drums to Beat Out Stress

By Adam Meyer

Empowering moments can happen at any time and to anyone. There are millions of examples but for many, they occur in odd places with potentially the oddest events.

Drum circles have been around for ages. They have been used as therapeutic services as well as ways to bring a community together through rhythm and sound. Quincy University’s Communication department was lucky enough to be a part of a drum circle last week. Both communication and percussion students arrived in the QUMedia classroom where they were welcomed by an assortment of drums and noisemakers.

The group was lead by Michael Vera Eastmond and his wife Emely Rose Vera Eastmond who both work together. Emely Rose started The Bodhi Tree Studio. At the studio, Emely Rose provides yoga instruction while Michael works with their drum circle services.

The group sat in a circle and were inclined to take an instrument that they seemed fit to play. Once each participant chose an instrument someone in the circle would begin to play and others would add on from there. The experience seemed to uplift everyone in the group, all by playing different instruments and bringing drastically different sounds together.

The group would play around four times with the last two sessions resulting in a different sound. The second to last session someone started and everyone played as it went clockwise and once it reached the end it would begin to become quiet once more starting with the last person who played revolving back to the beginning. As for the last session the group would split in half and one group would play for eight counts and then stop and the other group would play and it continued until everyone played at the end and would conclude with a collected ending.

Drum circles are a way of stress relief and according to Michael Vera Eastmond drum circles can release stress pretty easily, and it was proven with the drum circle. 

“If you are having a particularly frantic time, with finals or with a big project coming up and you are just taking a few minutes for yourself and doing a drum circle or even just drumming by yourself is pretty beneficial as well because it decreases stress levels and you kind of forget about what you are thinking and don’t worry as much about what you are doing in the moment,” Michael said.

Emely Rose, along with others in the circle, was not used to it at first, but she believes that overall people are attached to screens which is a provider of stress and with a drum circle or yoga that stress can be relieved.

“We have two teenagers at home so we know they are in front of screens a lot wether that be the tv or their phones and they are sitting at school all day, so doing something where you are moving and breathing… we don’t do that throughout our day so it relieves stress, and relieving stress through breath is very beneficial for the body,’ Emely Rose said.

Students at the event found it a great way to get away from their regular duties of the day.

Discussion after one of the drum sessions

“It was a very neat way to to relax and take a break in my day. I loved how I could do anything that I wanted and how it was just based on listening to each other,” Casey Pigg said.

Listening and relaxing and letting go is what was emphasized with the drum circle and in the end, resulted in rest and stress relief.

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