The beginning of another year. The time to take stock of your health, well-being and the way you spend your time. The time for reflection and consideration. How are you feeling? Do we feel great? Or sluggish after Christmas? Are you still weaning yourself off the festive over-indulgence lifestyle?
Many people make new year’s resolutions about ‘getting fit’ or ‘losing weight’. Although aiming for health and fitness are laudable goals (there are many ways of achieving this) joining a gym is not the only route to feeling good about yourself. What about your mental health? Perhaps your resolution is about doing something to reduce your stress levels and relax? Yoga, mindfulness and other exercises are rightfully popular ways of helping with this, but they are not for everyone. Or perhaps you have decided to make this a year of meeting new people, forming new friendships and perhaps even finding someone special? Or maybe you feel the need to learn or sharpen a skill?
I have been running African drumming evening classes in Sheffield for 24 years now and I have experienced myself and witnessed in the many hundreds of people that I have taught, the many positives that people take away from the workshops.
Drumming is physical and certainly contributes to fitness. Stress relieving – absolutely – try it and you will see. Have you heard of being in ‘the flow’? Flow is “a mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity”. Sound good? You can achieve the flow through African drumming. With so many distractions in daily life now, achieving such a state for mental well-being is becoming more and more important. And, of course, in African drumming you are not doing this alone; the beauty of it is you are in a group – the group works together to play rhythms and accomplish musical pieces. What better platform for building friendships? Many of my class attendees have chosen to socialise before or after workshops. And the final point on the potential for meeting someone special? Well, all I can say is my classes over the years have resulted in at least three long-term relationships and four children! (I would love to hear of more!)
January 2018 will be a new chapter for me too. I am intending to move my Thursday evening classes to a wonderful new community venue, right in the centre of Sheffield. Union St is, as you might imagine, on Union St and is a ‘co-working’ space run by a community interest company under the management of Matt Hill. The building spans over three floors and offers event spaces, shared offices, bicycle repair, a variety of workshops, yoga, a different pop-up café every day and much more. When I met Matt at Union St last week and he said he would love to host a regular African drumming workshop, I felt we had found our new home.
We are starting with a one-off taster session called ‘why not give it a crack’ on Saturday 20th January 11:30-1pm. Tickets are £10 and refreshments are included in the ticket price, available from 11am, plus there is an optional trip to the pub afterwards, so plenty of socialising opportunities. The session is open to beginners and those who have drummed before, and I will provide all the drums as usual. For more details and to book see the event on the Union St Facebook page.