First day of classes. I led a drum circle this morning to start the Creative Arts Therapy Orientation session. I'm certainly not an expert in doing this, but I can get everyone involved. I had great success with drumming as a therapeutic activity when I worked in a county jail; the cooperation, sharing, and listening necessary helped the inmates grow in those skills without my ever having to mention them explicitly.
A "drum" circle can involve other instruments, and out of our 40 participants this morning, there were several playing maracas and other shakers, others playing claves, guiros, and slit drums, and two people on bells. The choice of instruments can be important. Some people feel anxious about trying to keep a steady beat and a shaker is easier. Some instruments are easy to play but don't work -- we have a large gourd cabasa that, when you play it, drowns everything else out.
One of the useful aspects of a drum circle at an orientation is that, while some people may initially feel uncomfortable, the act of making it work and trying to get better creates a bond. It loosens up everyone and then the actual meet-and-greet is much more productive.