Tap. Tap. Rap. Smack. Smack. Smack…. Repeat… Repeat…..I can feel a rhythm developing. A primeval kind of sound and feeling. I like it!
It’s the language of a rhythm taught by Martin “Wolf” Murphy instructor at Jammin! Drum School and Events in Orlando FL.
Wolf has been instructing, facilitating circles, and storytelling with the drum for decades as his Facebook page and other social media will tell you. That’s quite a load for a person. At least that’s what it seems.
Music is an odd mix of technical and expression that is not easily discovered everywhere. On the technical side you need to understand your instrument. You might be able to play a note but are you able to join several notes together to make a harmony. As for expression, you might have a story to tell and be quite expressive but can you play it through the technical requirements of the instrument.
“Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel”, Jimi Hendrix once said. Technically it can be played but to truly PLAY the blues one must feel the story of expression of it.
Sharing builds communities
Wolf Murphy teaches the technical, encourages the expressive and adds a third element to his drum circle lessons. The element of community.
His students are given a rhythm Tap. Tap. Rap. Smack. Smack. Smack…. Repeat… Repeat. Not a complicated one but one that can be learned in the short period of a lesson for us beginners. Master the technical now feel the expression in a circle of other drummers. Hear the expressive sounds in the air. It builds emotion.
In a short time you are no longer playing a drum but you are sharing through it instead. Your beat is your gift, your story, to the community. Sounds fill the room. Each member feeds off your story as you feed off theirs. You are part of this community now. You are contributing. You are benefiting. You were alone in your story but no longer as you are being received.
The community beat is filled with the stories of others and they drive yours. You don’t even realize but your drumming has become louder, not to drown out the others but to carry them with you and ride their wake at the same time.
Now the drum is not even there. You are interacting at an entirely new level. Time slows and you’re immersed in the stories through the vibes and moods of the other drummers. You are connected by the rhythm but the sounds are even gone as they are transformed into emotion.
The others fade from being drummers as well, now they are your fellow tribe. You are hearing, sharing and surviving together as one.
As you leave the circle the emotions don’t leave you. There is a remarkable sense that those things you thought unrelated actually are. You make the connections. A passerby on the street is no longer a stranger. He is someone with a story to share. You are listening for those stories in everything. There is a rhythm in his footsteps.
You are no longer walking alone through town. You are walking among the community and you want to contribute your story. Tap. Tap. Rap. Smack. Smack. Smack…. Repeat… Repeat
Social media is a mix of technical and expression
We have so many ways to share and to be a community. A drum circle seems simple compared to today’s social media technologies but, it is the same. It’s the mixing of a technical rhythm with expression of storytelling. Wolf Murphy brought us to a community within the four walls where we sat. What we learned carries outside those walls and there are no boundaries. With today’s communication technology, we share, listen to the stories and become communities now more than ever.
It’s a simple beat. We don’t really have that much to learn. Storytelling is in our nature. We just need to do it. People will connect. We want to, it is also in our nature.
Share, Inspire, Like
Share what you do and share what inspires you. “Like” someones personal story. Get the rhythm flowing on social media. It is the drum of our community and the beat goes on.