Everybody Drum Some, the open-ended percussion collective led by Murfreesboro drum instructor Ross Lester, will host its next community rhythm event on Thursday, March 22, at Mayday Brewery. As always, Lester invites all in the Middle Tennessee community to gather together with their neighbors and make music.
These seasonal group drumming sessions are open to all ages and all skill levels; organizers will judge not. Participants must simply be willing to participate and make some effort to cooperate in something much bigger and grander than one individual could possibly create.
"What's amazing is that from the beginning of the evening to the end of the evening, the whole group really grows together in their ability to communicate musically," Lester said of these types of rhythm sessions.
Come and drum some!
It matters not what musical experience and past training participants may have, what music ambition they may have, whether they are a professional jazz drummer who enjoys complex polyrhythms or whether they have a two-year-old who enjoys banging on the pots and pans. The only ones who are excluded are those who exclude themselves, hence the name: Everybody Drum Some.
Lester presents these group drumming events for arts events, youth groups and community gatherings, and also works with local groups recovering from PTSD and substance abuse. The local musician and instructor has even led group drumming sessions for some of the inmates at the county jail.
Attending a single drumming session may not magically heal a participant's pain or illness, but it could be one more positive experience in someone's life, which is why Lester fully encourages all to take advantage of positive community experiences whenever possible.
He says he is "just a drummer," but he's one who cares about his fellow human beings and improving his community. While drumming for an hour may not turn a life around, it is often difficult to dwell on one's own troubles, let alone the conflict in the world at large, in such an actively collaborative environment.
Even if someone does not wish to participate in the drumming, they may still hang out and observe this recreational music-making experience, an ongoing experiment in group communication and dynamics.
Rhythmists can bring djembes, congas, shakers, hoop drums, wood blocks, tambourines, triangles or their percussive instrument of choice, but even those who have no instrument may come out and use one in the extensive Everybody Drum Some collection.
For Lester, the community music event is much more than a bunch of individuals smacking drum heads to make noise.
A drum circle, he contends, can teach skills such as listening to your neighbor, respect, communication and creativity. Many say that listening to your neighbor, respect, communication and creativity could benefit our community and the world.
"It is exemplary of society as a whole," Lester said of a drum circle.
These group rhythm events can indeed offer a chance for plenty of personal artistic expression and freedom, but Lester spoke of the importance of listening to what those surrounding you are saying, and of being conscious that your part doesn't infringe upon the rhythm of the community.
Even for the leader of the group, it's impossible to predict exactly what direction the music will take when a new drumming group comes together to create improvisational percussive sounds, but most likely it will be a joyful noise.
Everybody Drum Some's Spring 2018 Community Rhythm Event will be at Mayday Brewery, 521 Old Salem Rd., on Thursday, March 22, beginning at 6 p.m. The event is free, and all are welcome.
For more on Ross Lester's Everybody Drum Some, visit everybodydrumsome.com.
Come out and see where the beat takes the group, or where the group takes the beat . . .