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HUMANS of DJEMBE – Part 22 – Judy ( Juju) Mitchell ( South West Rocks NSW)

By July 6, 2016Blog

humans of djembe 22“Drumming arrived on my doorstep with a bang in 2000 – the new millennium! Darembuka lessons for the belly dancing class. How sensational, and then I heard the djembe! There was no turning back. Rarely do I play darabuka, but love the djembe and dun outfit.

Exhausted at the end of demanding working weeks, a team of enthusiasts would religiously attend the Friday night class after driving for 30 or 40 minutes. The elation at the close of class was undeniable. I believe everyone ROCKED on the way home from class with rhythms being tapped out of steering wheels. Completely reborn, completely alive, hearts full of clean energy and balanced!

I dearly thank my first teacher. I also dearly thank the team of, just so happens to be, ladies, who have continued drumming together since that time. Our first teacher gave birth to the Drumming Sheilas.

Many wonderful drum masters and teachers have come to our somewhat isolated area, to holiday with their families, and to inspire and encourage us and give us further rhythms and refine our technique in intensive workshops. We have accessed a diverse selection of camps and workshops. We have been invited to participate and perform at several exciting festivals and celebrations.

Early in drum life, we learned to make dunun sets, and I continue to do so. We also reskin our djembes and bougarabous, and have made shekerees.
Bali Drum camps have been a total gift from the Gods, as Bali and the Balinese people, and drumming are my favourite things. The networking and camaraderie of the camps has been a delightful surprise to me. The first camp I attended in 2014, together with a few Sheilas, was full of information and although Simon said “it is not boot camp”, we worked hard at mastering the rhythms, storing information, patterns, sequences and stepping up our solos, taking home two virtually complete rhythms to add to the Sheila repertoire, with song, duns, bells, djembes, intro, calls, solos, harmonies, breaks and chaufs.

I have the privilege to teach the Personal Development program Drumbeat in local Primary Schools, and this is another amazing moment of empowerment through drum and rhythm. It is sensational seeing children of all abilities respond and shine and achieve, perform and express with djembe and duns, percussion dance and song, to the whole school audience, within the 10 week program.

This year I returned to Bali Drum Camp, and I came home re-empowered with further information on drumming technique, I received a shiny star for my successes and those precious moments of clear-mindedness. I learned a fabulous new chain to play in 4/4 patterns, and further info on 6/8 calls, connecting once again with amazing people, learning that one CAN spend one’s whole life at drum camps!

I give great gratitude to the Bali team, and all the drummers who have touched and enriched my life.
I count my blessings and drink with delight the earth energy gift of vibration from rhythm………with all of you!

Juju Drumming Sheila will drum forever”