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Chanting and Drum Beats from Celtic &

Other Traditional Cultures

 Chanting, in many cultural traditions, is accompanied by the drum, our world’s most ancient instrument (after the voice!) Vocalizations and drum beats can transport us into a state of heightened awareness, and can heal the mind, body and spirit by inducing harmony within ourselves and our community.  In this workshop, I introduce basic chants that harmonize with simple drum beats so that we learn how to tune - and attune to - our drums and voices and the subtle energies they receive and transmit. We learn how to communicate effectively with our drums, practicing specific ways to call forth the voice of a drum (for each drum has its own), how to initiate and renew our drum and its healing qualities, and how chanting specific sounds (rather than words) in conjunction with the drum, calls forth our inner voice to liberate and empower us.  We also learn how modern scientific knowledge – in fields such as sonics, bioenergetics, hemispheric integration, quantum physics, deep listening, music therapy, harmonics - can expand our understanding of what traditional cultures have practiced for millennia. Some time is spent on other percussives including the rattle, jew’s harp, gong, bell, and our own bodies. Please bring your own drum and other percussion instruments if you have them; some instruments are available for those who do not have their own. You may be an absolute beginner or an accomplished musician – no worries, everyone is welcome and included in a safe and comfortable way. 

Marilyn Walker, PhD is an anthropologist and ethnomusicologist, recently retired from Mount Allison University where she organized symposia and workshops including the Music As Medicine Conference held in 2002 and Alternative Cosmologies and Ecologies in 2004. She is also a shamanic practitioner who studied with traditional and neo shamans in Siberia, Southeast Asia, northern North America and the Tibetan Bön tradition, now in exile in northern India. She was a founding member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners and is a Field Associate of Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, for which she completed the 3-year training program in core shamanism. Marilyn also studied drumming and drum circling with world music masters such as Babatunde Olatunji, Glen Velez, Arthur Hull, Armando Pereza, and Trichy Sankaran. She has presented academic papers and experiential workshops nationally and internationally; selected publications on shamanism and music may be found online.