Drumming Home Positivity
From June 2018 through to July 2019 we ran our 'Drumming Home Positivity' project, for which we were fortunate enough to have been awarded a grant from The Big Lottery Fund. It consisted of fortnightly drum circles, as well as a weekend residential trip to Eskdale in the Lake District.
In June 2018 we marched with Amnesty International along Blackpool promenade in a festival procession, playing our drums and leaving smiles on the faces of the crowd behind us. It was an opportunity for us to pass out leaflets advertising our fortnightly drum circles, and support a great cause.
Again in June we attended a community fun day in Highfield Road Park, Blackpool, and gave a short performance plus a couple of workshop sessions where people attending the event were able to try drumming with us (see photos below). We had a large group of people drumming with us, and we spread the word about our project with leaflets.
In July we performed at the annual gala day for Claremont area in Blackpool. This was useful for us as Claremont is where we run our regular drum circles, so we were able to meet many people local to the area and encourage them to come and drum with us. After our performance we led interactive workshop sessions and had a huge number of people drumming along with us, trying it out for themselves.
July also saw us spending an afternoon in Blackpool's Stanley Park in glorious weather, supporting a local organisation called Horizon who were holding a feel-good event. We performed a short gig for them, then spent a couple of hours playing with the attendees and anybody else who was in the park and wanted to join in.
During the project year we managed to advertise ourselves far and wide, having our details printed in various local newsletters and publications. We also had articles in our local newspaper, The Gazette - see the bottom of this page for copies of these articles.
A large number of people attended our Tuesday evening drum circles, which we split between teaching specific African rhythms (and a lot of drum basics as well, of course) and playing freestyle improvised pieces where we simply listened and responded to each other's playing. Many of these people regularly came back for more, though several only came for one or two sessions. It was great to be able to support people to play live, which we know several people found to be quite a challenge, but their feeling of achievement afterwards was self-evident.
In November 2018 we took the group away to Eskdale Youth Hostel in the Lake District for a residential trip, and we all had an extremely laid-back weekend, with plenty of drumming (of various styles and on different drums), a circus skills session, evenings of world music DJing with live percussion, free time (mostly spent indoors as the weather was quite rainy), DJ training and then performing at the Saturday evening fancy dress party, and on the Sunday we had a go at soapstone carving and copper wire sculpture. We managed to get outside up the hill to the wooden log circle on Friday evening and drummed into the night sky, went for short walks and generally left the world behind us for a couple of days. It was great to see a group of people spend time together with so little friction; most of the people didn't know each other that well and it was brilliant to be able to get to know each other better in such a relaxed atmosphere. You can see photographs of the weekend by clicking this link.
We are delighted that our year-long project was met with such enthusiasm and willingness to participate, and we hope to be able to keep assisting people to find their rhythmic inner selves for many more years!
The 'Drumming Home Positivity' project was based on our experiences of the beneficial aspects of group drumming; scientific research to support this can be found here.
For an excellent write-up of one person's experience of attending Tidal Beats drum circles, please visit the Elephant, Creative Thinking website.
In June 2018 an article
about Tidal Beats was printed in The Blackpool Gazette, our local
In March 2019 there was another article in the Blackpool Gazette - again, please click the image on the left to see a copy of the article.