Paul John Dear


Paul John Dear began his work as the founder and driving force behind Rhythmbridge, a company which offered rhythm based programs for schools from 1999 until 2020.

He is one of the first and most experienced Arthur Hull trained Drum Circle Facilitators in the UK and has developed his facilitation skills in a wide variety of settings including Educational, Corporate and Community.

He is currently the UK Playshop Program Director and lead Trainer alongside Dr Jane Bentley, which delivers Drum Circle Training to a Global Community.

Paul has also studied culturally specific rhythms across the years. Here are some of the Teachers/Cultures he has worked with.

  • Senegal ( Lamine Bodian, Bougarabou, Koulaty Kabo, Serouba)
  • Ghana (Tetty Amoah, Ni Tagoe, Kpanlogo/Ewe, Ben Lawrence)
  • Guinea ( Iya Sako, Nanasady Keita, Djembe)
  • Morocco ( Mohammed Ibna Sin, Bendir, Darabuka)
  • Brazil ( Duddu Tucci, Claudio Kron, Samba)

He has performed with Beyondrum, The Kajamor Family and Maghribibeat and was part of the team that delivered Rhythm and Grooves, a Festival of West African Music and Dance in West Yorkshire.

As a volunteer for Wiston Lodge ( 2013-2018) in a Music and Arts role, Paul helped to develop a Musical Trail as part of the Path of the Little People Project, funded by the BBC’s Children in Need. Alongside this he supported Wiston staff with Drum Circle Facilitation and Expressive Rhythm Story Training.

Paul is a charismatic workshop leader and delivers his sessions with warmth, humour and a high degree of professionalism. Since 1999 Rhythmbridge has delivered thousands of workshops to a wide diversity of communities and continues to be one of the most innovative drum companies around.

Educational workshops have been at the core of Paul’s work since 1999 and he is now delivering an exciting Expressive Rhythm Stories Training to Educators internationally.

He is now a Director of Tinto Music and Arts CIC.

To stand in the middle of a circle and say “Look at me, then do what I tell you to do” could invoke the response of “Who do you think you are? Stop showing off you ego-maniac!”.
Yet no-one even thinks of saying this to Paul Dear. Why? Because you know that when he’s there centre stage he has only your well-being in mind. Your development, your enjoyment and, on a good day, your transformation.
Yes, he’s having a good time and it shows, but only because he’s fulfilling his dream of bringing people together in rhythm. An expert, disciplined musician who hides it all in devotion to humorously creating community. Entertainer and Elder, a holy man who can drink you under the table without missing a beat or an opportunity to serve.
There are very few people walking on this planet with the quiet magnitude of Paul Dear, I count myself lucky that I’ve danced with him in that circle and learned from his mastery.

Tom Morley, Instant Teamwork