Norman Evans equates playing drums to a spiritual experience.
"When you're playing, there's nothing like it," he said. "It's an emotional healing. It helps to heal your soul."
For Jeannette Baldwin, it's a time to separate yourself from an "artificial" world.
"Our life is filled with artificial everything," she said. "Drumming gets you back in touch with what's natural."
Mr. Evans and Ms. Baldwin regularly participate in a community drum circle facilitated by Not Gaddy, the owner and director of IDrum2U studio, an academy of drumming, and a trained Health Rhythms facilitator. Health Rhythms is a program that focuses on the health benefits of drumming.
Mr. Gaddy began holding drum circles 15 years ago, first in his home and now once a month at his studio on Damascus Road.
"Music is my life," he said. "From the time I was little, I've always been interested in drumming. When I learned about drum circles, there was no hesitation. I wanted to provide this kind of resource to my community."
Knowing how to play the drums is not important in a drum circle, he said. Releasing your inner rhythm is.
"Everybody has a rhythm, and once that point is conveyed and understood you can't buy the gleam that's in their eyes as they drum," he said. "They are taking their inner rhythm and sharing it with a group of people they did not know."
He also discusses the health benefits of drumming with those who participate. They include stress relief, exercise, self-expression and support from fellow participants, he said.
"Drumming is a healing," he said. "It's a healing in the rhythms. It's a healing that cultures have been using for centuries."
The community drum circles also promote unity, he said.
"Age doesn't matter. Race doesn't matter. Gender doesn't matter," he said. "It's about bringing everyone's rhythms together, healing your body and soul, and communicating with one another. That kind of unity is what makes community drum circles special."
Starting April 9, Mr. Gaddy will have community drum circles at 7 p.m. Thursdays at IDRUM2U Studio, 3070 Demascus Road. All ages are welcome, and drums are provided. No musical experience is necessary.
For more information on HealthRhythms, visit www.remo.com. For more information about the community drum circle, call (706) 414-1391.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.