After a fantastic nights sleep in the Hotel Aquarius, a shower, meditation and a good breakfast, I was ready for the weekend ahead. Ben and his good friend Stefan met me at the hotel and we headed off to pick up the drums for the program, all provided by Remo through Gewa Drum Circles
Trailer hitched, we made the one hour drive to our venue for the weekend at Kloster Michaelstein.
We arrived in plenty of time to set up and grab a bite to eat before our community of trainees showed up. We had a mix of returnees from previous VMC Trainings with the Head Elf himself, Arthur Hull and also some brand new participants. Most came from different regions of Germany but we had representations from the Netherlands too.
This would be the third time I had co-facilitated a VMC Training but the first one as a Trainer outside of my own UK Community. Ben had invited me pretty much as soon as we had qualified and it was this kind offer that started the ball rolling for the Tour I now find myself on. Thanks Ben 😉
The Training was a superb experience and Ben shared that he had aspired to create the same kind of environment that we used for our UK Playshops at Wiston Lodge. As well as space for the Training and drumming late into the night he had now been able to add a chill out space where we could play guitars, chat, sing and have a wee dram or two. With everybody living onsite and eating together, it did not take long for Community and a sense of Family to show up.
The participants were incredible. They picked up everything we gave them and demonstrated their deep understanding of the techniques with excellent facilitation practice. There was a delightfully congruent energy all the way through the weekend. Good listening, good communication and a very supportive environment for ‘learning to learn’
Our first training session went really well and the chill out space was put to the test with amazing results. Wonderful musicality in the form of shared songs, including a totally amazing improvised jazz/blues mash up to end the evening. Smiles all around, especially Ben.
We were well ahead of our schedule into day 2 and having had some feedback that the breaks needed to be longer we offered a Big Break. “Thanks but No Thanks” was the response and bar a couple of folk we used up our “Free Time” for “Jump Time.”
The training continued to move forward with ease and we found ourselves setting up a musicality piece to dive deeper into late night. There were some spectacular grooves and some nice ambient moments. Some hard core drum puppies stayed and the rest headed for singing central for more divine sharing.
It is fair to say “Late Night” had spread out.
Sundays program started a tad later to give time for clearing accommodations and we moved into our final phase with the same ease as the rest of the weekend. We had a little time for Q & A and a little bit of Drum Circle Philosophy.
Then we prepped for the closing circle which was a lovely thing in itself before rearranging the space to welcome the outside community to our closing circle.
50 folk showed up to play alongside our 29 and so we literally used up every seat we had available. The circle was hugely energetic from start to finish and both our newbie and returnee DCF’s did wonderful work.
I was delighted to be able to close with a musicality piece built around a four part canon with voice. A very emotional completion.
Goodbyes and hugs and “see you next year” all around and it was time to pack and head home to my hotel after a bite to eat with Ben, where we basked in the shared success of the program.
This is a wonderful community held by Ben and Stefan and it was an absolute honour to be a part of this training weekend. I am certain I will return to play again in Germany. Thank You All. It was a Blast.
Next stop INDIA………