Theyve got the beat

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
Iggy "Hoop Watcher" Garcia (left) and Heather Tapia led a Native American drumming circle at the Groveport Nature Center on Nov. 21.
Tapia happily plays her drum while the group joins in.

Like the rhythm of a heartbeat, the pounding of a drum can make one feel alive.

About 20 people of varying ages gathered at the Groveport Nature Center in Heritage Park on Nov. 21 to join in a Native American drumming circle to experience the joy of sound.

"We’re ‘sound’ beings by nature. Playing a drum focuses you," said Heather Tapia, an energy practitioner from the Bridge to Wellness who helped lead the drumming circle. "It helps empower individuals to find their authentic voice through sound."

Tapia discovered the positive effects of drumming while at a conference in Santa Fe, N.M.
"I got lost at the conference and came upon a drumming circle," said Tapia. "It was so uplifting and powerful that when I came home I bought as many drums as I could."

Tapia said one does not have to be a trained musician to engage with a drum.

"You can’t play drums wrong," said Tapia. "You just have to give yourself permission to make noise and connect with your true identity. It’s fun to watch people’s faces light up as they play drums. It’s not about your talent or your genes. It’s about banding together to create music."
Tapia, along with Iggy "Hoop Watcher" Garcia, led the group gathered for the drumming circle. During the event, the group went through three drumming sessions where each person was encouraged to discover their own beat on the drum or percussion instrument they were using. Each round of drumming had its own unique sound and rhythm with the music seeming to rise and fall naturally, and, though each drummer was pounding their own beat, it all blended together to make one pleasant percussive sound. With each round, the drummers seemed more relaxed and into creating the sounds. The sound seemed unified, yet distinctly individual, each time.

"Drumming transcends barriers," said Tapia. "Sound has a lot of self-healing qualities. People release their emotions into the drums and free up their energy. Drumming is an active form of meditation."

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