Wahlbangers Drum Circle Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
(based in Los Angeles, CA.) dedicated to
“Banging down walls” of stress, isolation, and stigma
& building bridges to inclusion, acceptance, and contentment
with the therapeutic benefits of group drumming.
During the experience with Judi's mom in the nursing home, we came to see that it is sometimes difficult for families - especially children - to sit and visit their loved one bedside. We learned that children can be afraid of the nursing home environment; but we saw the fear and apprehension disappear within our own family at the drum circle...
We knew that we needed to expand our efforts to create multigenerational drum circles for more nursing home residents.
Intergenerational Drum Circle with local college students...
Photo courtesy University of La Verne
"Community" describes the intergenerational involvement within the residents' families, and with volunteers such as college students and Girl Scouts, as well as the interaction between the residents themselves and with the staff and nursing students.
In our intergenerational drum circles, we consistently witness the marked benefits the experience brings to all involved.
We also reached out to the Girl Scouts and began what has become a wonderful collaboration.
This drum circle was joined by a local Brownie troop...
"I think this is a wonderful opportunity for girls and seniors to connect and it might be something that girls throughout the region may want to participate in."
Sandra Silva - Vice President, Membership & Regional Service Delivery, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles
(See: Benefits for Youth)
This young man was very nervous about visiting his great-grandma in the nursing home. Later, he became so caught up in the rhythm of the drum circle that he spontaneously wandered around the room encouraging people he had never met to play.
Our drum circles provide a common playground
where the players are ageless
and communication is shared by experience.
Participants, family members, and visitors are always reassured that they cannot make a mistake while drumming in our drum circles, and everyone is encouraged to play.
We often hear statements from first time participants ranging from:
Our drum circles are accessible to participants at all levels of ability.
It is not the quality of the music we are creating, but the quality of the relationships we are reinforcing through making music together that matters.
During our drum circles, family members feel more connected with their loved ones. Playing drums together is a way to bond and express feelings through sharing on a nonverbal level.