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A Drum Circle Facilitators Guild? What’s that?

By Nellie Hill

Drum Circle Facilitators Guild

A Drum Circle Facilitators Guild? What’s that?

You are thumbing through a drum circle magazine so you have an idea of what a drum circle is and you also may have worked with someone in the middle of that circle helping the group make great music and have a great experience. So how did that person learn to be in the center, to help the circle be so good, and is this actually a profession?

A drum circle facilitator is a person trained in the art of orchestrating rhythm events. They have worked hard to develop the leadership and listening skills that allow them to lead the members of the circle to a great musical experience. There are many different training certification programs; Arthur Hull runs Village Music Circles, Kalani has Developmental Community Music, and Music for People offers training that also includes melodic improvisation. HealthRhythms is a facilitation protocol developed by Dr Barry Bittman and Christine Stevens. There are also many weekend facilitation opportunities. So how did the Guild get started and what is its role?

The Drum Circle Facilitators Guild

In 2002 facilitating as a profession was becoming a reality. It was no longer just something you did, it was a “real job” After much discussion about what is a skilled profession and how can facilitators work together to make this profession stronger, Ken Crampton, Jonathan Murray, and Jaqui MacMillan set the groundwork for the Guild. They felt the Guild needed to be a networking organization with a place where potential clients could find information about facilitators in their area. It also needed to be a source for education, new ideas and growth. A Mission statement and Bylaws were written, papers were filed and the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild was born. In 2004, the Drum Circle Facilitator’s Guild (DCFG) website was launched, the first newsletter, RhythmMakers, was mailed and DCFG became a viable growing organization. The Drum Circle Facilitators Guild has grown since 2002. With over 150 members from all over the world, the Guild continues to support growth in knowledge, best business practices and professionalism for facilitators of rhythm ‐based events. It has three levels of membership; general, anyone interested in drum circles; professional, for the drum circle facilitator; and accredited professional, professional members that have verified their extensive training and professionalism. One of the major events sponsored by the Guild is the annual conference. The conference is a three‐day event with sessions including facilitation techniques, business development, program design, etc.

The History of the Conference

The first facilitators’ conference was held at the Remo Recreational Music Center in Los Angeles, CA. It was a fantastic experience with many different facilitators sharing their many skills and expertise. Arthur Hull donated the space crew of organizers (Mary Tolena, Jonathan Murray, Janet Planet, John Fitzgerald) put together a meaningful experience and spread the word. A committee was formed to put together the next conference. Jonathan Murray, Mary Tolena, Ted Owen, John Fitzgerald, , and Kalani worked together to put on the second conference at the
Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was attended by more than 70 facilitators from all over the world and was a huge success. The basic format from the second conference has continued, but each and every conference has been different. Every year the committee puts a call out to the community for suggestions and proposals for the conference. Our community has so many talents and areas of expertise. The best part of these conferences is the networking, the wonderful people we meet and get to know and the tremendous variety of skills and talents of the presenters. The sessions have included Brain Wave Vibration, Orff, Music for People, Sacred ritual, business organization, building your business, and much more! 2011 will be the 6th Annual conference and the call is out for new proposals and presentations. This year’s conference will be February 25‐27, 2011 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It will be an opportunity for facilitators to learn more about their craft and meet professionals from all over the world. You do not have to be a member of the guild to attend or present. It will be a great experience no matter what level of facilitator you are.

For more information, to register for the conference, or to submit a proposal for the conference, please visit the website: www.dcfg.net.

The cost is $350 for both the conference and 6 great meals.

For more information about DCFG please contact us at : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The DCFG Board of Directors

  • Nellie Hill – President (MD)
  • Ken Crampton – Vice President (VA)
  • Greg Whitt –Treasurer(NC)
  • Julie Corey – Secretary(MA)
  • Chip Burr‐ Board Member(SC)
  • Arturo Carillo‐ Board Member(CA)
  • Cassidy DuHadway – Board Member(IA)
  • Roger Johansen – Board Member(SC)
  • Lulu Leathley – Board Member(Canada)
  • Sandy Palmer – Board Member(TN)
  • John Scalici – Board Member(AL)
 

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