LEWISTON — Heading into its fifth month, the Lewiston Drum Group hopes to increase its membership. The group meets on the second Sunday of every month, from 4 to 6 p.m. inside the Trinity Episcopal Church, 247 Bates St. The next meeting will be Feb. 12.

The emphasis is on hand drums and percussion instruments, though guitars, fiddles and other acoustic instruments are encouraged. The group has seen story-telling and improv songs also come out of the circles. LDG welcomes dancers and musicians of any style to come check it out. It attempts to be an open door to anyone who wishes to drum, teen to adult, at any level of experience.

“The aim is to be a place to communicate differently, an environment where language is not as important as listening and attention. A place to drum out frustrations and to express yourself, to listen to the music others are making, to trance out,” said Jessy Kendall, a facilitator.

The group is maintained by Klara Tammany, director of The Center for Women’s Wisdom and Trinity Church member, Jessy Kendall and Denise Dill, two community members interested in more free downtown monthly community offerings. The staff at Trinity Church have been very generous with the use of their building. Though the LDG takes place in a church, the group is not faith based. “It’s an amazing-looking space. Tall vaunted ceilings, great acoustics. The stained glass windows look nice at sunset,” said Kendall.

The group is free. Donations are encouraged to keep up with heating costs.

The community benefits of drumming circles have been researched. Recreational drumming increases concentration and focus, helps develop communication skills and encourages people to listen and communicate with each other, naturally. The group is not so much about teaching as it is more a kinesthetic activity where learning happens automatically, through doing and listening. A drum circle is really a people circle.

Recreational drumming has been proven to reduce stress and relieve body tension. “Drumming helps balance your body, bringing your left and right halves together to work on creating rhythms. You will feel a sort of ease or contentment happen in a drum circle, every time,” said Kendall. “And don’t worry if you don’t have a drum. We have plenty of different kinds of percussion instruments available. Tell your drummer friends!”

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