Home / Feature / Rhythmic-resonance


Rhythmic Resonance

Exploring the Magic of Drum Circles with Racheli Silberstein 

Rayle Rubenstein 

Summer is a hectic season for Racheli Silberstein, who runs drum circles for camps and programs that include all ages, from young children through seniors. Racheli brings drums to each session, and participants sit in a circle as they explore beats and their sense of rhythm, following her lead. As someone passionate about music, Racheli says that the instruments she provides are easy channels for musical immersion, but what she witnesses is about so much more than rhythm; her circles foster coordination, connection, and joy that transcends music.

Have you ever had any musical training?

I’m a drummer. I love music and art. I’m from a large family – one of 15 children – and everyone in my family is artistic and musical. I have a sister in Israel who also runs drum circles. I took music classes during high school and passed what is known as chamesh yechidot, which is the most advanced class. During that time, we learned about music theory and went to see the philharmonic orchestra. My mom worked hard to encourage my siblings and me to take music lessons and to develop our talents. It’s something I tell parents to do, to encourage their children to learn music and not give up. 

You grew up in Israel, correct? 

I’m from Kiryat Malachi, which is about 10 minutes from Ashkelon. My family still lives there. It’s a very warm, close-knit community and we grew up feeling like we were part of one big family. I’ve been in America for about 15 years, but my family still lives there. 

When did you start playing the drums?

As a child. Back then, kids didn’t walk around with phones, and this was a great way to keep my hands occupied. Today, I try to do that for children – help them channel their energy through rhythm and beats instead of playing with their phones all day. Children need to be entertained, and music is such an incredible tool because it not only keeps them occupied, but it touches their souls and makes them happy and productive. 

How many people are in your typical drum circle? 

The number varies, but we often have more than 100 people in a session. For many, it’s their first experience with a percussion instrument. 

Why are drum buckets your drum of choice for your sessions? 

Drum buckets are the right height, and they are easy to transport. They are easy to use and create the ideal sound for successful group drumming. 

What’s the average age of participants? 

The people who join us are between the ages of six and 96! Last month, I organized a drum circle for a 93-year-old woman in New Jersey. It was inspiring to watch her express herself with rhythm; her enthusiasm and happiness with the music was contagious. 

Using a bucket drum is simple. I teach people how to hold the sticks without too much pressure, and within a few minutes, the entire group is playing in rhythm.

Is that all there is to it? 

It really is simple, but the fact is that there are people to whom rhythm does not come easily. Some people are not so coordinated. But everyone is happy to learn new skills, and the bucket drum is an excellent instrument for learning. I teach coordination during each session, which is a skill that’s important in many areas of life, not just drums.

Drummers use their hands, heads, and a combination of both. During a session, we’re moving up and down, and we work with the music. We engage the mind and the body, relieving stress and keeping the brain busy. 

Are all your classes the same? 

Definitely not! Each group brings its energy and talent to the circle. Sometimes, we do glow-in-the-dark sessions. It’s more interesting and a bit more immersive.

Have you taught any memorable groups? 

I was warned before I gave a session to one group of girls that there was no way they’d participate because they were too quiet and withdrawn. I didn’t believe it because everyone loves music, and I was right. We all sat down with our drums, and by the end of the session, everyone was dancing. 

What I love most are the drum circles I lead for special needs children. They all love the music, whether they are high-functioning or low-functioning, and they connect easily to the beats. Once they start, it’s as if they can’t stop playing. 

In truth, every drum circle is memorable. Each one provides a joyful musical experience and all it requires is a pair of percussion sticks. I love to see everyone working together, happy, and having fun. Music has so much power, and I love that opportunity to bring joy to people through beats and rhythm. 


Other author's posts
Leave a Reply
Stay With Us