By Kat Fulton, Founder of

Are you a new professional, or looking to advance in your career as a music therapist? Grab these free music therapy CMTEs that my team has put together for you! West Music was in on this project too =) Kat

Now, read on to learn about 6 resources to improve your drum circle facilitation. Best part? You can access the first 3 right here and now on your computer.

Here’s a letter I received recently:

Dear Kat, I’m a music therapy student about to enter my internship. I’ve followed your blog for a while and I’m interested in your work. I’d love to know more about drum circle facilitation. What does a typical drum circle look like? And I’m curious how you stretch out a drum circle to last 30 minutes to an hour. Thanks! Julie

The best way to find out more about drum circle facilitation is to attend a drum circle and experience it for yourself. You may already know this, but the American Music Therapy Association has a facilitated drum circle at each of its national conferences in the fall. The springtime conferences oftentimes have facilitated drum circles as well.

By reading Arthur Hull’s book “Drum Circle Spirit,” you’ll find that there are many different types of drum circles: unfacilitated, facilitated, anarchist, community, and the list goes on.

These two resources are a great start: Drum Circle Spirit + Drum Circle Facilitation

Music Therapists are a perfect fit to become drum circle facilitators. We are trained to take goals and objectives and address them with the experiences we design. Same for facilitating a drum circle.

Here’s a typical drum circle format for you: an ice-breaker, a check-in, an intro, primary experience, transition, secondary experience, a closing.

That sounds an awful lot like a music therapy session, doesn’t it?

As far as specific experiences within the drum circle go, the possibilities are endless. But the point of a facilitated drum circle is to reach an unfacilitated level where the group actually facilitates itself!

That sounds an awful lot like a typical music therapy session, too, doesn’t it?

Just like in music therapy where we open the space and provide a safe environment for the clients to make a change themselves, in a drum circle you empower the group, provide a supportive environment for them to make their own connections and evolve on their own.

So, if you are new to drum circle facilitation, then I’ve got 6 action steps for you to get on a fast track to become an effective facilitator.

  1. Search youtube for “drum circle Kalani.” He’s got quick demonstrations for you to check out.
  2. Search youtube for “drum circle Arthur Hull.” He’s got some awesome live demonstrations for you.
  3. Search youtube for “Bongo Barry Bernstein.” He’s got an amazing presentation on rhythm-based wellness.
  4. Go to the AMTA conference in the fall and attend the drum circle. Bring your ear plugs, an open mind, and an open heart. And watch what the facilitator does.
  5. Sign yourself up for a workshop by Arthur Hull, Christine Stevens, and/or Dave Holland. They are amazing facilitators and they’ve all got workshops coming up.
  6. When you’ve taken some time to soak it all in, then practice your facilitation in front of a mirror. Use imagery, dream about your role as a facilitator. That way when you facilitate for the first time ever, it won’t feel like the first time to you.

Are you new to facilitation? Tell us about your plans to improve your work! And if you are an experienced facilitator, what would YOU add? Leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to advance in your career and reach new heights with our free music therapy CMTE!

Be well, feel good, and make MUSIC! Kat