I always knew that I wanted to be a drummer as in playing African drums, but life got in the way…children, surviving etc. Nine years ago, I finally made up my mind. Like a New Year resolution, I said in front of a group of people: this is the year that I’m going to learn how to play the drums. I found a place somewhere in Camden where they did the teaching. I tried and I loved it! It was inviting and was lots of fun. I went there for about six weeks but unfortunately they lost funding, so they couldn’t carry on. I thought I could be upset about it, or I could do something about it. In the building I run my psychotherapy business from, I managed to rent a space in the basement and invited a drummer and borrowed some drums and advertised my first workshop on line not really expecting many people to come…but they did and they kept coming. After having run 450 workshops over the past eight years, I’m still going strong!
For me and for many others, drumming in a group setting is therapeutic, healing, uplifting and paradoxically both relaxing and energising at the same time. This makes it a powerful way to de-stress and feel joy! Feeling a sense of belonging and being able to learn and engage in something in just a few minutes that is co-created by all the members in that moment is something magical. Drumming is also about giving people confidence, enabling them to meet each other, to come together and understand different culture, or just to enjoy something fun with their friends and families. It is about joy, but also about pushing against stereotypes, cultural norms, all kinds of boundaries. Because I have high-functioning autism, I find social interactions quite difficult. But if I am doing an activity that I really enjoy, I can open up more easily. As it helps me overcome difficulties and challenges in life, I want to invite more people who perhaps have similar struggles in life to come along and feel that they are not isolated. I do not want to exclude anyone, even if they have no money. I enjoy doing it so much that it does not feel like work.
Learn more about Sue Goodies @ London African Drumming