What Are Past Participants Saying About Drum Circle Leadership Training?

Participants in a Drumming & Disabilities Training Learn How To Use Percussion for Social Connection...

Participants in a Drumming & Disabilities Training Learn How To Use Percussion for Social Connection...

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say THANK YOU for everything you gave me at the training last weekend. Today I had my first circle since attending the training, and the difference was like night and day. We had several total newbies show up either brought by family members or just from the community at large, many of whom were reluctant or afraid to give drumming a chance. I had one woman who told me outright that she had no rhythm, and would just be watching. I used the tools you gave me to create conditions and expectations, and others handed her a shaker. I watched her move from the shaker to claves to a small djembe. At the end of the circle, she told me how surprised she was to discover she did have musical ability after all, and how much fun she had.

— Diana Hiatt / Training Participant
Sitting in the circle with people who had a wide variety of experience and expertise was at first humbling and a bit scary for me. But Jim has a way of getting participants to open their hearts, minds, and spirits to empower success. Since the Facilitator Training Course I have used a thought process that Jim espouses during the training: There are no mistakes in the Circle..... which I interpreted as that I could not make a mistake if they did not exist. And if a person thinks they made a mistake then Jim says just keep on playing....even louder and smile bigger! To this day my mind, heart, and spirit continue to smile because of this powerful philosophy and way of life. I am attempting to use this philosophy in my every day activities as well. Life is definitely becoming more peace-filled! As a result of this course I am becoming connected to more and more like-minded people.
— Pat Fitzgerald Ph.D, Professor, Saint Francis University
Drumming is for everyone...

Drumming is for everyone...

I, too, had a very successful, hugely successful circle with a group of women with addictions on Wed. eve. I’m still buzzin’ from it. I would like to thank myself for choosing you, Jim, as my teacher. I’m happy to say that I left this group of 14 women to empowered, and wanting more. I’ve never received so many hugs and hand shakes in one evening. We went around circle talking about our experience and the feedback was all positive, all amazing, very impressive. These women wanted to express their goodness, they wanted to share how they were feeling & they loved it. In the end, I put some art work that I drew in the middle of the circle and invited them to pick the one that best suited how they were feeling. (Not one person felt sad!-) I get to share with these women for the next three weeks now as they continue on their recovery journey. I’m so excited! I just re-lived this circle and feel just as good now as I did then. What a difference this course has made. Thank you! Quotes
— Tammy O. Training Participant
I felt, heard and sang to the rhythm all 6 1/2 hours as I returned to NY. I’m vibrating with the energy of everyone and everything. The inspiration kick started the rhythm class.... I sent an email to the LAC Drum Circle email list, friends and family. I’m offering 8 dates starting tonight. I’m jumping in! Still pumped! Within an hour I had people signing up for the classes. I feel the support and feedback from everyone at this weekend’s training. I hear Jim’s loving voice encouraging and supportive. This is exactly what I was looking for. I think I am most impressed with the presentation of a VAST amount of material in 2 1/2 days. Jim is VERY generous with the information he is sharing with fellow teachers. It was so well organized and executed that I feel strong as I move forward in applying the additions to what I already have going on. Quotes
— Sandra Fioramonti, Liverpool Art Center, Training Participant
Drum Circle Leadership Trainee Shiela McEntee communicates with her group...

Drum Circle Leadership Trainee Shiela McEntee communicates with her group...

In the work that I do I have had the privilege of witnessing the positive impact drumming can have on children with autism Therefore, being part of the drum facilitator training was not only fabulous but a dream come true. Any initial fear I may have felt was dispelled in the first few minutes of training and it was wonderful to learn and experience in an environment where you didn’t have to worry about being right or wrong. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and supportive and I never felt like I was out there on my ow. Through my participation I have learned to connect with others on a deeper level. I also feel more comfortable expressing myself and believe that I have become a better listening. I laughed and I cried but in the end I walked away from this experience a changed person who wants to make a difference and who just wants more.
— Brenda Guzic MA, MHSc, RN Assistant Director for Telehealth CERMUSA
I attended Jim Donovan’s Drum Facilitator & Teacher Training so that I could get drum circles going in my area to help build community and to give me more options to drum myself. I got so much more out of this program than just learning to lead a drum circle. The program held so many insights into the dynamics of facilitating people and empowering me and others towards true connectedness. There is a powerful feeling of wellbeing inside the circle that words just cannot describe. I highly recommend this program to anyone who works with people of any age or just wants to improve their circle/life skills.
— Teresa Benedetti Estock Training Participant
Jim Donovan with 500 college freshman on their first day of school at the College of St. Johns, St. Cloud MN

Jim Donovan with 500 college freshman on their first day of school at the College of St. Johns, St. Cloud MN

Community Drum Circle report - Bedford: Success! An observer would not have guessed that almost all of the drummers were beginners, it sounded so clean and good. I was able to repeat my prior success of playing the rattle and drum at the same time, even though I lost my place a few times?.Overall, this circle had clearer energy and more interesting grooves than the past gatherings. The group thanked me for doing the facilitating, which felt really good. There are still areas where I can improve and I feel I have the resources to do so. I am grateful to Jim for offering this workshop now. Perfect timing for me. Thanks to all of you for allowing me to process and share this success.
— Sally Klien, Training Participant
Since our Greensburg weekend several weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to teach both children and adults on separate occasions. The most significant change I’ve noticed in myself is added confidence which in turn allows me to truly enjoy what I’m doing. I am more animated, I smile more and I’m really having fun. I can see a change on the faces of the students. They see my enthusiasm and it spreads to everyone involved. The training was exactly what I needed to advance to a higher level. Thank you to Jim and everyone that was a part of it.
— Rich Schuler, Training Participant
Since the training I have done a drum/percussion circle with a group of older folks, as well as incorporated some of the skills we learned into a bereavement music session for kids. I am so very grateful for the skills learned at the workshop... they are seamlessly incorporating themselves into my work in wonderful ways, really helping to make a difference. Thank you all...!

The rewards were bright smiles, hugs, and even tears from participants :) With the older folks, “One drum/instrument” exercise worked surprisingly well when prefacing it with “and now for something different...,” as I learned here from Sheila’s experience. Also, remembering to come out of the experiences with deep breaths has been enjoyed by participants. With the kids, the drumming portion of the experience was a kind of release. I was able to easily incorporate some cut-stops and rumbles... Turned out to be a great community-building experience for all...
— Ellen Goodling, Training Participant