Hand-drumming classes offer welcoming environment

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    By Paul Roberts
    Special to The PREVIEW
    Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at noon.
    The class offers a welcoming environment that encourages fun, creativity, playfulness and connecting with others. Hand drums are provided for those who don’t have one.
    Even participants who have no experience playing a musical instrument can immediately get into the groove. Besides hand drumming, the class includes body percussion and songs of indigenous peoples.
    Catt LeBaigue and her three horses moved to Pagosa a few months ago. Here are some of her comments about the drumming class:
    “For me, the class is really therapeutic. Before the last class, I just didn’t want to get out of the house. It’s winter and you just maybe want to hole up and not go anywhere and not even be social. Even going to the market is an effort. I thought, ‘You need to get out of the house.’ My energy was low but I made myself go. I compared where I was when I arrived, which was kind of reluctant to participate, to when I left, which was full of energy, charged up. I was on top of the world, smiling and laughing. My eyes were bright, my whole body felt invigorated, alert and awake. I was no longer sluggish. I was full of enthusiasm. For me, and I think for many of the participants, the drumming class is a gift on a lot of levels. You have people who are beginners and you have people who are players that have been doing music all their lives, but we all come together and we play together, which is remarkable.
    “During the last class, we had been drumming for about half an hour, improvising and having fun, and then you introduced us to air drumming, where we were playing the rhythms silently in the air. First, we got softer and softer in our drumming, and then we went to just air. It went on for quite a while, and when I looked around, everyone was in sync and expressing themselves in their own unique ways. Some people had their eyes closed but they were still in synch. That’s when I realized what a beautiful way we had come together. You’d think it was ephemeral, but we’re talking about rhythm, so it’s not ephemeral, it’s something real that you can measure, and all of our rhythms were going together. We must be getting in sync with each other in deeper ways than we know. Rhythm is such a good way of bringing the community together and it’s wonderful that a lot of people have been touched by the drumming class.”
    For more information about the hand-drumming class, email banjocrazy@centurytel.net or call 731-3117. The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.