“Drum Circle Game” and 3 variations: a music therapy activity idea for preschoolers, children, adolescents and adults


-Goal Area: socialization, creativity, interaction, cooperation and impulse control.

-Objective: Drum holders will remain in their proper place and make their drums accessible to the player.  The drummer will go around to their choice of drums and create a drum solo or drum accompaniment.

-Materials: Shape drums (or other drums) and sticks as needed. Optional place markers for people to stand on.  Chairs may also be used if needed.

-Method: Drum holders are to stand in a circle, holding their drums out in front of them.  Therapist begins to play a supporting song to facilitate the group’s goals- be it on another drum, piano, or guitar.  The drummer then plays a solo or accompanying drum line on any and all of the drums in front of him or her.

-Adaptations: !) Place markers or chairs may be used, if needed, to define the appropriate area to situate drum holders.  2) Drum holders may move their drums slowly to the song and the drummer has to really watch and move to play along.  3) Also holders may walk in a slow sideways step in a circle around the drummer, who has to keep up with them in order to make his/her music. 4) I do this with groups of up to 12 children with only 6 drums. We make this work for us by having half the group do the activity as above and half the group dance to the music and “freeze” when we stop to change drummers.   Let me know what you can think of!

-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes, thanks to Jamie.

Please send in any activities or musical processes  that you use with children, adolescents or adults of all ages and abilities. These could be activities for use for kids, adolescents or adults that have autism, adhd, add, down’s / down syndrome, speech language delays, oral-motor issues, physical disabilities, mental health issues, conduct disorder, cerebral palsy and other issues that we human have to contend with.  I’m also interested in any activities for people dealing with health issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chemical dependency, other addictions, grief, cancer, pain management and any other life issue.  I have just installed a “spam” locator which means that I’ll actually get the mail as mail. Please email me at margie@musictherapytunes.com and put activity in the subject line. Give yourself (or the author/composer)  all the credit you want or remain anonymous. Thank you!! – Margie La Bella at music therapy tunes

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