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August and Everything

This is hopefully the first of many blogs as I put my toe in the literary media water. It has been a busy month on the drumming and business front as I try and step up a gear. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with some fantastic groups from Runnymeade Teens, Spelthorne 4 to 12′s and The Odyssians over the last few weeks all of which have been special needs participants where the music has been fantastic as well as really rewarding. I love working with these groups and the support staff who give their time, most of them for free and some of them just kids. Really makes you smile when you are bombarded on the TV with negative headline grabbing images of children in trouble, stabbings and the like.

The Odyssians in full flow.

I have also managed to squeeze in a Remo HealthRhythms session in a cancer support centre in Portsmouth. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and all the participants appear to have got a huge amount out of it. I was taken a little aback by the enthusiasm of the feedback, it is always difficult to gauge how well you are doing.  The end of the month brought a double session at a school in Birmingham for kids moving between Infants and Juniors. Two great circles and we had parents along at the end for a short performance bit, with the parents clapping along. Kids had a great time and put there feedback on a graffiti wall.

Kiddies Feedback Wall

Having played Djembe for 10 years, having bought my first in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2000 I thought it was time I learned how to reskin and tune them up properly. So I spent 3 days over two weekends working with Somesh De Swart at Rhythm Cafe, working on a new djembe, from identifying a good skin to the finished product . Being a soft southerner, I found out how hard this work is, but ended up with a really great drum, made loads of mistakes and learned a huge amount.

The First of Many ?

The finished item, still some work needs to be done to tune it up and clean the head, but a fantastic sound.

As my interest has been peaked by the Remo HealthRhythms course I have been delving more deeply into Guided Imagery ( GI ) the Mind / Body connection and the impact that music making and particularly drumming have on us as people. I had a real problem with the GI exercise on HealthRhythms course and was pretty sceptical, but having practiced it and researched it further, my understanding has grown. I can recommend a couple of books around the topic which have made stop and think about how I work daily in my contact with people and with my business.

A really good introduction is Andrew Weil MD and Martin L Rossman MD audio book available through itunes ” Self Healing through Guided Imagery ” put it onto your ipod and listen to the science behind the theory and then  do the examples of guided imagery journeys. Martin Rossman also has a book ” Guided Imagery and Self Healing ” which is also a good introduction to the subject as well as having a number of exercises that you can use in differing health circumstances.

PNI : The New Mind/Body Program – Dr Eric Dacher.

Gives a program to live by looking at the mind body concept and its effect on our daily lives and how to change our thinking. It also makes the great difference between treatment ( As offered by doctors ) and healing ( Looking beyond the symptoms and the medicinal solutions and looking at ourselves ) and offering sound, scientific evidence of the positive use of the mind to support healing.

Mind Body Health : The effects of Attitudes, Emotions and Relationships. Keith J Karren Phd.

I leave it up to you, however I was pretty sceptical, but my research has changed my thoughts around it all. I have also been trying to put my business into the next gear, reading widely which I will share with you next time. I have booked my flights for Ireland and looking forward to November.

4 Responses to August and Everything

  1. Joe Loughlin September 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    only a couple of words for you, Ray…..
    You bloody legend !!!! Keep her lit as we say over here !!!
    You are doing extraordinary things….keep rocking :)
    Joe

  2. Anna Green September 11, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Like the blog Ray. Looks like you’ve been doing a lot of travelling (maybe in more ways than one!). Love the graffiti wall – think I’ll pinch that.

    Anna x

    • Graceland July 6, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      Hey, good to find someone who argees with me. GMTA.

  3. Kelly September 11, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Heya Ray,

    Great to see you’ve got a blog set up. Good work!
    Was reading what you said about Health Rhythms and guided imagery. I just did a course today on changing limiting beliefs, Emotional Freedom Technique, Non-Personal Awareness and Zpoint…I think we’d better organise a chat! Much to share!