Get in rhythm with Tuesday hand-drumming sessions

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, Aug. 20, at noon.
The class is a family-friendly activity in which joy, fun and playfulness abound. No previous experience is necessary. Drums are provided for those who do not have one.
“It all starts with the heartbeat,” said Texas horse trainer Jimmy Brown, a man deeply attuned to rhythm. This summer, Brown is training horses and their riders in Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area.
“When we are riding, the horse’s legs become our legs. I teach the rider how to get in touch with the horse’s natural rhythms — the beat pattern in which its hooves fall — and how to rhythmically cue the horse, to communicate what the rider wants the horse to do.”
It’s inspiring to hear Brown describe the central role of rhythm in his work training horses and riders — a highly refined technique that inculcates trust, empathy and nonverbal communication.
I met Brown at a recent drumming class, to which he brought his djembe. Before finding out that he was a self-taught drummer, I was immediately struck by his rhythmic fluency and his ability to seamlessly and unobtrusively meld with other people’s rhythms.
I asked him if he played with other musicians.
“I’m not a real group-type person, I like to just play the rhythms,” he said.
He said that he uses drumming as a tool for his personal meditation. I asked him to describe his drumming meditation technique.
“I look at it as a way to go deeper inside myself,” he said. “I like to start playing and let the rhythms come, or create a rhythm, and just sink off into it. It helps quiet the mind and quiet the soul, putting me in a place of peace. It could be totally different for someone else, but that’s what it does for me.”
For more information about the hand-drumming class, call 731-3117. The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.

This story was posted on August 18, 2019.