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Reflections on Rhythm


Reflections on Rhythm was a project born from many conversations with many facilitators scattered around the globe, but a very special mention goes to Debbie Beirne of Ruach Rhythms who really crystalised my thinking. I wanted to explore what it is that we do as facilitators, why we do it, what do we consider when we work ? The impact it has on the groups that we work with, the professionalism that we bring to these groups and the years of investment in training and continual professional development. I wanted to celebrate our uniqueness and our similarities, the hard work we put in to what we do and get an understanding of who we all are.  I felt that it was really important to speak to facilitators at the "Coal - Face" who worked everyday with a multitude of audiences from around Europe to experience the work from as many perspectives as possible to really get a sense of who we are. In the conversations below you will get a sense of all of that and more. It really is not just about rocking up with a van load of drums. It is so much more than that and hopefully you will get the essence of what it is from the conversations that follow. 

Conversation with Paul Dear

The first conversation in the Reflections On Rhythm project was with one of the leading lights in the facilitating field Paul John Dear the founder of RhythmBridge ( ), UK Playshop Director, Music as Medicine Trainer and Expressive Rhythm stories developer and creator.

Paul speaks from the heart of his journey as a drummer and a drum circle facilitator to now being one of the lead trainers and the programme director for the UK Playshop as well as leading training workshops through out the world. He talks of his personal growth, creating safe space and the development of  his skills as a facilitator. 

Conversation with Debbie Beirne

In conversation and reflection with Debbie Beirne who is the founder of Ruach Rhythms ( )community music service and has been facilitating both community music, retreats, events and therapeutic rhythm programs in Ireland and the uk for nearly 20 years. Debbie is a pre-eminent facilitator and we  explore all things drumming, rhythm, ethical practice and her influences. Debbie talks about creating a safe space for expression and also shares her journey as a rhythm facilitator, the varied groups that she works with and lessons learned along the way.

Conversation with Dr Jane Bently

Reflections On Rhythm features the amazing Dr. Jane Bentley who has really taken facilitation to the next level. She shares here her journey in music and facilitation and her work with the  "BuddyBeat" programme in Renfrewshire. She openly shares her experiences with drumming and music as an intervention in health and wellness. As well as her thoughts on ethical practice and creating safe space.

Conversation with Joe Loughlin

The fourth part of Reflections On Rhythm features the fabulous Joe Loughlin of The Gathering Drum. Joe is based in Northern Ireland and really is one of the best facilitators working at the moment. Joe here shares his thoughts around facilitation, rhythm, drumming and drum circles as well as his own personal journey. He offers his perspective on the cultural divide and the work of the drum in bringing communities together plus a fascinating role that the drum plays in this and the importance of its cultural neutrality.

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