If you’re looking for the greatest team building activity for your organization, drumming is your best choice. My experience with corporate drumming events began in 1998. As a college freshman, I traveled to Dallas, Texas help facilitate a drumming event for the pharmaceutical company Pharmacia & Upjhon. Pharmacia & Upjohn merged with Pfizer shortly afterwards. As I began to write this article, I was happy to know that Pfizer is still doing corporate drumming events.
Corporate Drumming Defined
The most comprehensive definition of corporate drumming comes from Azure Music Studio: “Corporate drumming events focus on team-building and stress relief through cooperative games using drums and auxiliary percussion. Drumming circles involve interactive activities that enable participants to get to know each other, learn to work with as a group and allow participants to share their unique attributes.”
The Return On Investment
According to a research study done by Dr. Gary Bittman, economic analysts (independent from the study) projected that a Pennsylvania corporation saved $89,100 in expenses associated with training new employees through having corporate drumming events to improve morale. That’s a return on investment of $60.57 saved for every dollar invested.
Trapmedia.com says that, “drumming has the ability to motivate, and inspire long after the event has ended. The beat of the drum is much more powerful than the barriers of spoken word, and it allows active participants to work together, creating a strong sense of purpose, unity, and determination.”
Here are to steps to get drumming started at your company:
1. Plan your event
The ideal length of time for a drumming event is 30 minutes. According to National Geographic, “the average adult’s attention span is 20 minutes (unless it’s a topic one finds especially interesting).” I’ve found that’s it better to keep drumming events shorter and leave people wanting more and not letting the activity overstay it’s welcome.
Be sure to get clear on what you want from your event. It can anything from a team building activity to entertainment or some combination of the two. According to Corporatewire, you can have drumming session as part of an event opener, mid day session, or event closer.
2. Find the proper venue your event
The venue in which you decide to have your drumming event is critical to the success of your event. One tip that has helped my clients plan successful events is to find the biggest space possible for your event. In my opinion, it’s best to have your participants in a circle. According to Dolores Gozzi, “Everyone sitting in a circle shares an equal position with everyone else. There’s no ‘head of the table’ position that confers special status and creates a hierarchy.”
If you’re planning on having hundreds of people take part in your event, using an auditorium would be the best choice. Regardless of whether your activity takes place in a room or an auditorium, it’s necessary to have a chair (preferably without arm rests) for each participant.
3. Find a drum circle facilitator
After you create your plan and decide on your venue, the next step is to find a drum circle facilitator. According to X8 Drums, “An effective drum circle facilitator helps the members to focus on the objective and develop the quality and outcome of the drum jam. He or she should guide and encourage the participants to produce exciting in-the-moment music.” Find out whether or not they will be bringing drums (and if so, how many).
Use your favorite search engine to gather information on people in your area. Be sure to contact several people and ask for references from their previous clients. Every drum circle facilitator you contact should have some video footage of themselves doing an event. This is the best way to get a clear idea on what your experience will be like.
In fact, here is a video of me facilitating a drum circle: