This story has been published in the Emery Weal, the SAIT Newspaper.
Weekly drum circles at SAIT starting next year
SAIT will be hosting weekly drum circles next year to help students explore their spirituality without the structure of religion.
The drum circles have been held once a month since February, with the last drum circle of the year at the end of April in Heritage Hall.
SAIT’s chaplain, Tim Nethercott, leads the drum circles, a tool he said is his specialty for helping people experience their spirituality.
“It’s a way of providing spiritual benefit to a lot more people than I can just by offering my religion,” said Nethercott. “I’m a Christian chaplain, but I don’t do Christianity on campus. I do spirituality.
“Drumming is something that strikes people as a spiritual thing without having any concepts about spirituality attached to it.”
Nethercott explained that drumming can have many benefits, such as lower blood pressure, decreased heart rate, improved mood and increased immune functioning.
“Drumming is a great wellness modality,” said Nethercott. “It helps with morale.”
Nancy Nourse participated in the drum circle on March 22. Although not a SAIT student, she said she thought it would be great for relieving stress.
“It’s almost like after you work out, a release of endorphins,” said Nourse. “It was great.”
A Nigerian prince brought the drum circle to western culture, said Nethercott. He explained that the circle is an appropriation of West African culture.
“There are facilitated drum circles, and there are freestyle drum circles and we’re about halfway in between,” said Nethercott.
“It creates that sort of community you wouldn’t otherwise get on campus,” said Nourse.
“We could just be ourselves.”
Nethercott said around 35 people have attended each session which he is happy with, but he expects more in following sessions.