From Pots to Powerful Percussion: Udu Drums

Percussion instruments have a long history in traditional African music and culture. Many of these percussion instruments, such as shakers and other drums, were created or adapted from common household or tribal objects. These instruments, once hand made from everyday materials, have now become celebrated staples in African music.

The Udu drum is a perfect example of an instrument that evolved from such humble beginnings. The Igbo women of Nigeria used clay pots to store their food and carry water.  Women were responsible for both the gathering of supplies and the actual creation of the Udu vessel. Because they could only be created by women, the Udu was connected to ideas creation and the feminine divine. These pots were so important that they were given as gifts to the goddesses through large ceremonies. As the ceremonies progressed the Udu began to be played to create music. It was their use in these ceremonies that established the Udu used as a percussion instrument.

Pain Relief through Drumming

Whether from an injury, or a battle with chronic pain, there are many reasons that people turn to alternative treatments in order to increase wellness in their lives. Living with pain can cause stress, depression, anxiety and a loss of focus on the things that matter in life. Finding a way to manage or cope with pain can be a struggle in itself, exacerbating the issue with pain and creating situations that “snowball” drastically. However, there is promise in the activity of drumming for those seeking a different way to manage the day-to-day aches and pains of life, as well as those who may be facing a more prolonged issue with chronic pain.

Best Instruments for Drum Circles

The fun and magic of a drum circle can be seen in the joy on the faces of everyone who attends. These community based drum jams allow each person to feel as a part of the whole experience, while still allowing for self-expression through both rhythm and the instrument chosen to play.

Drum circles combine the best of all worlds: music, drums, hand percussion instruments and even chanting and dancing. For many, however, including the best instruments for drum circles is part of the process of self-discovery, and with each new discovery, the rhythm is enhanced.

Becoming a Drumming Teacher

Drumming is a passion that can ignite a person and encourage the motivation for creativity and artistry like no other.  It is this need to share the wonders of rhythm and drum with the world that can turn a person into a drum circle fanatic, a rock star drummer or even a force of inspiration through teaching drums. Truly, when it comes to sharing the love for drums and rhythm, perhaps there is no better way to value this passion than to become a drumming teacher.

Fun Summer Drumming Activities for Kids

While we may all hate to admit it, sometimes summer can seem like a chore, especially when planning activities to keep children entertained. Whether as a parent with children at home, a camp counselor looking to keep kids engaged, or a kid yourself, the summer months bring plenty of opportunities to combine seasonal fun with a little bit of drumming. While we never recommend using a hand drum or percussion instrument near water, there are always alternatives to the beat of a djembe that can delight both adults and kids alike.