Thursday, April 23, 2015
Dr. Bob facilitated a drum circle for MSU Honors Students on April 23 in the Griffis Courtyard. The program was part of the week of international-themed events for the Honors students. The drum circle celebrated the theme of Ubuntu, an African philosophy emphasizing community connections and service to others. Ubuntu is a term roughly translating to "human kindness." It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally "human-ness," but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity." Ubuntu is the capacity in African culture to express compassion, reciprocity, dignity, harmony, and humanity in the interests of building and maintaining community. When a community comes together to drum, they unite in rhythm to celebrate life. Their interactions create a supportive, interdependent relationship in which each person is valued for his or her unique contribution to the group music. In the drum circle, there is no audience; everyone is part of the music. Everyone in the circle plays together, creating his or her own personal rhythmic patterns that fit into the music created by the whole group. The ensemble itself provides an invaluable social experience because the players depend on each other for the ensemble to succeed. The entire point of a drum circle is for it to be an outlet where the self- expression of all the participants creates a combined expression of the community created by the group.