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Meeting every 2nd Saturday, 3:00 - 4:30 pm, in the Sanctuary, USC ABQ

Drumming Returns to Unity Spiritual Center!

After a several year hiatus, drumming returns to Unity Spiritual Center Albuquerque in our Sanctuary led by Lesley Goddin & John Vandermey.  Lesley and John bring years of drum Circle facilitating to this circle which is open to all people whether you have drumming experience or not.  If you do not have your own drum don’t worry!  We have lots of drums to borrow during the Circle.

Other instruments are welcome too!  Bring your Native American Style Flutes, rhythm instruments, etc. with you and share your musical gift!

Welcome to USC Rhythm Connection! 

Our goal is to provide an environment that allows people to connect with the community through the expression of rhythm.  We want to be a safe place for you to explore rhythmic connection in a gentle way.  Being in community involves listening to what’s happening in the group and seeing where you can add to that.  Making music together also involves making sure to leave space for others to join in as well.

Rhythm is not limited to drumming and percussion!  If you are moved to dance, vocalize, play a flute (or another acoustical instrument), or just clap your hands, we encourage that.  That adds to the connection possibilities.

Sometimes, when the group is in a steady groove, someone will “play up.” That is, they’ll play a little louder, with some flourishes and accents, for a few measures to add a little spice to the experience.  This is expected and encouraged.  Keep holding that rhythm while they do this, so they know where to come back to. Drumming can be good practice in listening to yourself and to each other and harmonizing what you are contributing with what others are putting into the circle. 

Some drum circles are a place of showing off, playing the loudest or the fastest, or even the most accurate. This can be very intimidating for people that aren’t at that same skill level.  These can be a great opportunity to release frustrations, practice specific rhythms, meet teachers, and feel pushed to grow.  We aren’t about that, though.  We’re about building those heart connections in the community.



This is a free event. Love Offering donations are accepted. If donating through the Church Center app, or the web site, please include a comment for USC Rhythm Connection so the office knows where to place the funds.



With most drum circles, there will be a collection of instruments in the center that are there for you to pick up and use.  There may be a table set up outside the circle for the same purpose.  Feel free to grab what interests you.  This is a great opportunity to try out different drums so you know what you like when you’re interested in purchasing one of your own.

Always ask people for permission before grabbing a personal instrument someone has brought. Drums hold energy and people can be very protective of that.  Some instruments are also very expensive, and the owner may not want anyone to handle it.  We always need to be respectful of people’s property.



It is a good idea to remove any rings from your fingers or dangling bracelets before playing. The ring can hit the edge of the drum which can damage the ring, and sometimes your finger, not to mention the drum head.

If your arms or hands start to feel tired or sore, please take a break and maybe do a little stretching.  Feel free to reach out to a facilitator or another member of the group with questions about ergonomics and the proper way to hold/strike drums to reduce fatigue and possibly injury. Please also use the provided hand sanitizer before the circle starts to help keep everyone healthy.



Young kids are absolutely welcome!  We do expect that if you bring young children, you will supervise them, and commit to taking care of their needs.



  • I don’t have a drum!  Do I need to get one?

No.  There will be extra drums and percussion available for your use, at no charge. You can also choose to connect in other ways.  You can choose to dance, vocalize, play another acoustic instrument, or just be present and absorb the energy.


  • I don’t read music or play instruments. Can I do this?

Absolutely! This experience isn’t about talent or knowledge.  It’s about connecting and literally PLAYING - having fun and experimenting with rhythm like a child might do.  Everyone has rhythm!  You walk with a rhythm, you breathe with a rhythm, you chew with a rhythm.  If the group is playing something more complicated than you can do right now, listen for the pattern and play the basic beat.  It’s all okay.


  • I have an injury/arthritis/chronic pain.  Can I do this?

We will do all that we can to accommodate your needs.  We have mallets that you can use to strike the drum if using your hands won’t work for you. Or maybe a shaker or other percussion instrument is a better option.  We have a variety of those as well. We strongly encourage you to listen to your own body.  If something is causing pain or fatigue, it’s time to stop doing that and try a different playing style or instrument.


  • Will I become a good drummer by doing this?

Drumming is improved every time you pick up a drum and play.  Your timing, syncopation, and left/right independence will improve.  That said, the goal of this event is to foster connection in the community through rhythm.  Improving your skills is a sweet bonus.


  • I’m not a new-agey, hippie type of person.  Will I fit in?

Rhythmic connection is for everyone!  We’ve drummed with doctors, lawyers, ministers, engineers, truck drivers, unemployed and children.  Oh, and some hippies.  All are welcome.  Rhythm knows no bounds.  It does not discriminate on race, religion, sexual orientation, income level or shoe color.