WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START SOULSHINE RHYTHM EXPERIENCE?
SUZY: “Soulshine Rhythm Experience was born out of a combination of my personal journey of healing and a calling to serve others in theirs. I had been training and performing with a West African drumming group for several years when I became interested in exploring the physical, cognitive, and therapeutic benefits of drumming. Following a traumatic event in my life, I had begun to reflect on my experiences with drumming and was fascinated by how it had, unbeknownst to me, contributed significantly to my healing process.”
I’D LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FIRST COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLE.
SUZY: “The intention was to connect with the community and share in our love of drumming and rhythm. It turned out to be so much more. The positive response to our first event inspired me to learn more about facilitation and how I could best combine my drumming skills with my ability to connect with people. I wanted to create ‘rhythm experiences’ where anyone would feel comfortable participating in a drum circle and, as a result, receive the many benefits of group drumming.”
WHY WOULD YOU SAY YOUR COMMUNITY DRUM CIRCLES ARE UNIQUE?
SUZY: “Soulshine Rhythm Experience events are unique because they are interactive. They are about you, me, and we. Over the last 15 years, I’ve collected a lot of drums and now I get to share them with the community! At a Soulshine community event, I provide the drums and participants have an opportunity to experiment with many types of hand-held percussion from around the world. Everyone is encouraged to find the sounds that resonate with them personally.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS INCLUSIVITY TO YOU AT YOUR EVENTS?
SUZY: “Humans thrive when we are connected, and music is a unifying language. Regardless of age, ability, or previous musical experience, I want everyone to know that here, in the circle, you matter. Your voice matters. Your contribution to the circle matters. When a participant feels that for the first time, it is life-changing. I get to hear so many wonderful stories of how the participant was so inspired by their experience that they were able to carry that inspiration into other areas of their lives. And that is magic.”
WHO DO YOU DRUM WITH TODAY?
SUZY: “I drum with companies and executive leaders who want an innovative way to support and empower their teams, and with children who are learning about mindfulness and cooperation. From teenagers struggling with depression and adults recovering from addiction, to seniors living with dementia and active agers looking to try something new. More and more, my private session clients are therapists seeking effective self-care practices and have heard of the many therapeutic benefits that drumming offers.”
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF SOULSHINE RHYTHM EXPERIENCE?
SUZY: “My hope is that I get to keep connecting people to the transformative experience of drumming and rhythm. Being connected to your own rhythm can support well-being in ways you may not have considered. You may even think you don’t have rhythm. I assure you, you do. And one of the most rewarding aspects of this work is that I get to help you find it.”