Feeling frazzled? Beat the stress away at a drum circle in Goa

When it comes to de-stressing, the silence of yoga and meditation is not everyone's cup of tea. But, at a drum circle, participants can channelize their inner musician, while also getting a dose of stress relief...
Drum circle in Goa
Drum circle in GoaPicture Courtesy: Garima Tiwari

Is work taking a toll on your life? Or, are you tried of the daily grind? Looking forward to some stress relief or chill out sessions? Here are some cool drum circle groups in Goa, which are helping people connect with their musical side, while simultaneously finding relaxation and healing.

The concept of a drum circle is fairly new in Goa, and has been gaining popularity in recent times. While the vibe of Goa complements the drumming scene, these percussion-instrument based circles are proving to be a great way to help people find themselves, build a sense of community and reconnect with one's self.

From simple jamming sessions, their focus has been shifting to mediation, healing and getting people to connect with their musical side.

Creating a community of drumming artists

If you've travelled to Arambol, North Goa, you might have spotted drum circle groups performing at sunset. These might look like they've jumped straight out of a Bollywood setup, but they are participants of the 'Goa Drum Circle', which started last July.

Jayesh Joshi, who started this drum circle, wanted to create a platform for artists in Goa. He wants to build a community, where people come together and share a rhythm.

"You don't have to be the best drummer. It's all about building a sense of community and creating community rhythms. People from all walks of life, can come together and play hand drums in a casual, community-oriented and safe environment. The drum circle offers equality because there is no 'head or tail'. It includes people of all ages, and the main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves," said Joshi.

Goa Drum Circle is a free-form community event.

Participants of Goa Drum Circle playing at the beach.
Participants of Goa Drum Circle playing at the beach.Picture Courtesy: Goa Drum Circle

Helping people discover music

Garima Tiwari, who had previously curated the Manali and Rishikesh Drum Circle, conducts the ‘Anjuna Drum Circle’ every Sunday in Locura, Anjuna. She is determined to build a network in every village of Goa, where like-minded people can meet up at one point and drum together.

"For me, the idea is to help people discover and experience music like never before. There are many people out there who have not discovered the musical streak in them and are unaware of the experience it can offer," she says.

Garima Tiwari performing during a session.
Garima Tiwari performing during a session.

Tiwari, the creator of Anjuna Drum Circle, has been successfully hosting music sessions every Sunday in Anjuna. She says, "Drumming is known to bring joy, happiness and energy, creativity and spontaneous healing. We have chosen the 'djembe' African drum as it is very easy to play."

Due to the three tones of the instrument, one can easily pick up the instrument.

"We guide and have previously guided people with body percussion, wherein people can make use of their body parts like hands to clap, snap and tap, and create music. There were also times when we did a 'recycle drum circle'. We collected trash and jammed using broken buckets, tins etc. It was a lot fun," Tiwari adds.

For Tiwari, the joy behind this activity is when people come up to her and express their happiness. "I totally enjoy these sessions, and moreover, it feels good when people, at the end of the session, say that they had a ball of a time and were able to rekindle their musical side," she adds.

To catch up with Garmia, Anjuna is the place to be.

Drum circle in Goa
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Alternative therapy

Drum Circle Facilitator and psychologist, Arthur Fernandes from Goa, who has been hosting several drumming sessions in various parts of the country, including Goa, explains how drumming is helping people reconnect with themselves, while also finding solace in their lives.

"I have a completely different outlook when it comes to drumming. Being a psychologist, I understand how important is to help people build the idea of leadership within themselves."

He goes on to explain a bit about his drumming sessions; he says that during the session, you can find him leading the group, but slowly, he steps out of the circle and lets the participants take charge. This practice helps people identify the leadership skills in them.

"For me, drumming is therapy. It is about understanding the healing, invigorating and empowering influence of music on heartbeats. It helps to not only uplift a person's mood, but also enhance their understanding of one self," adds Arthur, who runs 'Music Matters'.

In Goa, there are several other drum circle facilitators and groups, which have created their own niche and area of expertise, and work towards making the most of music -- not just to entertain people, but to also build bonds and heal minds.

Drum circle in Goa
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