U-Theatre Camp

Drumming exercise

  1. Drumming exercise: Winter Camp of Performing Arts
  2. Theme of the activity: Drumming exercise
  3. Activity date: February 1 to February 3, 2016
  4. Activity location: Pas36
  5. Participants: Members of Thunder King of Drums
  6. Records: Ken-Lun Chang

In this study, in order to experience the power and fun of drumming exercise in person, we visited Pas36 affiliated to U-Theatre to have a three-day drumming experience camp. We learned some drumming techniques and rhythms as well as the basic training of U-Theatre, such as physical training, meditation, and so on. On the last day, they guided us to see the facilities of Pas36, which allowed us to know U-Theatre better!

Each day after we came to Pas36, our teacher would first ask us to warm up by running around the training room and doing exercises like step-touch and step-up from time to time till most of us sweat. Then, we came to collective training room for meditation and percussion practice. Our teacher would play light music, while we sat down crossing our legs. We closed our eyes. And our hearts, beating fast, slowed down. Then came the key part, that is, drumming. From simple to complex rhythms, our teachers taught us how to beat a suite. The last day was presentation of what we learned for three days.

After three days of study, we not only learned the art of drum, but also, more importantly, the spirit of U-Theatre. They held a rigorous attitude toward percussion practice. No matter training or performance, they finished each action carefully and seriously. We can apply such spirit in our daily life. We shall concentrate on what we are doing, because a moment of distraction may lead to imperfect outcome. That's what we should learn.

Photo credit: Thunder King of Drums

  

Afterthoughts

Afterthoughts of drumming exercise

I was extremely excited to know that we would participate in a drum camp at U-Theatre. We spent three tiring yet rewarding days there. We learned both the skills to play a drum and the spirit of a drummer and philosophy of life. Before the winter camp, I thought that drumming was a simple task. But the several days of training made me aware that U-Theatre drum was completely different from drum set. Besides tempo and rhythm, body movement art and martial art were also included in drumming. What's most important was that "there was no music score." We should remember all the rhythm by heart, which challenged our physical and mental strengths.

Our daily routine included warm-up, meditation, and percussion practice. I like sitting quietly to relax my whole body. It seemed that I was in a different world. I was obsessed with my own thinking. My heart was as calm as a lake. When I opened my eyes, it seemed that I had been to a remote mountain. My mind became sharp and concentrated while drumming. Each of my beats was stable. It was interesting that when I concentrated on beating the drum, it seemed that I could not feel my legs bending and forgot the soreness. The rhythm was clear as concentration was integrated with the strength to beat the drum. After the three days, I was honored to say that, "I love playing the drum!"

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Touching sounds of drum came from the "heart". Via meditation, we became more aware of our bodies. Different sounds of drum were produced with different postures. Each was unique with special characteristics. My classmates also felt the resonance between drums and their hearts. I was inspired by the learning method of U-Theatre in the winter camp. When we sat quietly, our teacher taught us how to calm down, feel our breath, arms and leg, environment, cold and hot, and sounds. Our teacher called it "perception".

Through the exercise of "perception", I learned that the heart of a performer affected his body status which was fully presented in the sounds of drum. The sounds of drums after the alternative training of body and mind were touching. I learned the importance of a "calm heart". I was touched by the winter camp and understood that we should learn the efforts behind any achievements. We shall achieve success step by step, as there is no shortcut.

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On the first day of our winter camp at U-Theatre, our drum teacher was very nice. When we sat for meditation, some students made eyes with each other. When we learned percussion practice, some chatted with each other. Our drum teacher only reminded us rather than being mean. On the second day, waves of devil training attacked us. First, we practiced pas de cheval till our sore legs shake and cramped. Then, we practiced drumming exercise. Though the rhythm was simple, as we practiced, we gradually felt our body ached. Yung-Cheih Hsu got blisters on hands but continued beating after simple dressing. Seeing Yung-Cheih practiced with us without saying a word about pain, I continued beating regardless of my callus on my feet.

On the third day, we gathered together on time for warm-up. The atmosphere was as relaxing as usual. But when we sat quietly for meditation, I felt that we were obviously differently. I suddenly understood the sentence, "Changes will occur when you truly want to change!" Since then, I never made eyes during meditation. And I focused on the instructions of our teacher during pas de cheval. When practicing beating the drum, I looked ahead attentively, focused on the rhythm, and gradually forgot the ache of my body. Along with the exciting sounds of drums, I felt the power of "calmness and unity". Our changes happened due to ourselves rather than our teachers.

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Photo credit: Thunder King of Drums