Call of the Drum: A Journey of Rhythm, Community, and Transformation

Call of the Drum: A Journey of Rhythm, Community, and Transformation

One year ago, I stood at a crossroads a few weeks ahead of my July birthday, unsure of how to mark the passing of another year. I told David, my partner, about my decades-long desire to join a drum circle. The rhythmic beats had always beckoned to me, but fear and uncertainty held me back. With David’s encouragement, I dared to dream bigger: why not host my own drum gathering?

So it was decided. Invitations were sent out to friends and subscribers, urging them to bring drums or home-made drum-like creations to our potluck celebration.

As the day unfolded, my heart pounded with a mix of excitement and apprehension. Would anyone come? Would they enjoy it? How do I even “do” this? What was I thinking?

To my joyous surprise, the evening became a symphony of laughter, rhythm, and newfound connections. Some brought spare drums, others fashioned makeshift percussion from household items. We drummed with abandon, feasted together, and shared stories around our little firepit. As the last beats faded, someone asked, “Can we do this again?”

And so, a monthly tradition was born—a vibrant tapestry of old friends and new faces, united by the pulsating heartbeat of our drum circle. In those early days, I stumbled through rhythms and beats, unsure yet undeterred. Each gathering became a canvas where strangers became friends and music became a language of the soul.

Little did I know that this simple decision would ignite a transformative journey. From that first hesitant strike of the drum, my life has unfurled into a kaleidoscope of rhythms and melodies. I’ve immersed myself in drumming trainings, from Denver, to online, to the upcoming training in Hawaii with Arthur Hull, who ignited this facilitated drumming concept over 30 years ago. My modest drum collection (starting at 0 one year ago) has blossomed into a riotous assembly of well over 40-50 instruments—each with its own story and soulful resonance.

Image from our first drum circle!

But it’s not just about the drums; it’s about the people. Together, we’ve woven a community where healing thrives, joy resonates, and laughter echoes through every beat. Hearts have mended, spirits have soared, and connections have deepened with every circle we form.

As I stand on the cusp of “tomorrow”, my heart brims with gratitude for each person who has shared in this odyssey. With every passing month, the circle widens, embracing new possibilities and unforeseen horizons. I eagerly await the unwritten chapters of this adventure, knowing that each beat carries us closer to the heart of human connection.

And so, with a drum in hand and a soul filled with rhythm, I march forward—towards the unknown, towards a future where the drumbeat of community continues to guide my path. ~Dee DiGioia

Post Script:

This beautiful drum (image above) was recently gifted to me and has a story of it’s own. You can read about it here: Resonance of Compassion: The Gifted Drum’s Journey to Healing

If you have not yet joined our “Joyful Rhythms” Drum Circles, I truly hope you will!  Enjoy the photo gallery below.

~Dee DiGioia, “Joyful Rhythms” Drum Circles

Photo Gallery

My first drum – happy birthday to me, July 2023
This beautiful djembe was donated to me and is my very favorite drum that I use as my own. Since the djembe originated in Africa I chose to name my drum “Keisha” which means “great joy.”
This drum was donated and used as our “Joyful Rhythms” mascot and reminder that this is all about having FUN!
Just some of the inventory of our drums that participants are welcome to borrow during our Circles. Many of these were donated.
Just some of the inventory of our drums that participants are welcome to borrow during our Circles.
Just some of the inventory of our drums that participants are welcome to borrow during our Circles. The ones on the bottom are “tubano” style and are nesting drums (2 others stacked within).
Our gathering drum has become a favorite!
Learn more about “Joyful Rhythms” by clicking on the image. Join us! Public and private events throughout San Luis Obispo County.


Dee DiGioia, founder of Mindful Kindful YOUniversity in Baywood-Los Osos, is a dedicated practitioner and guide in mindfulness, sound healing, and life skills for well-being through nature connectedness. Her expertise as a Drum Circle Facilitator has been honed through extensive training, including programs such as “Rhythm 2 Recovery” with Summer Lall, “Drum Leadership Training” with Jim Donovan, and Arthur Hull of “Village Music Circles”, a pioneer in drum facilitation. Continually advancing her skills in drumming and sound healing, Dee recently transitioned from a full-time role in special education to fully concentrate on expanding her outreach and services promoting health and well-being across San Luis Obispo County.


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