Rhythms of Presence

A weekend residential retreat at Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire, Scotland on May 12th- 15th 2020

It was an amazing weekend. Thank you so much. I don’t think I will ever be the same again. I hum, I tap, I sing, I move, I giggle and I explore. I am picturing and dreaming there is so much more I can play with and do.

Cathy Ward November 2021

Facilitated by Paul John Dear and Dr Jane Bentley

Timings: Arrive Thurs evening for dinner at 6pm. Depart Sun after Lunch from 2pm onwards.

Paul and Jane will facilitate rhythm based in the moment music, utilising drums, percussion, voice, movement, stillness, presence and play through which they will open a door to a fully emergent and immersive process, which will deepen your relationship to the music, to yourself and to others.

Weekend Schedule: TBC

Your Trainers.

Originally trained in theatre, Dr Jane Bentley spent six years touring the world with the International Purves Puppets. This involved being mostly invisible in such prestigious destinations as Syria, Taiwan, and Auchtermuchty village hall. She began her journey into enabling the expressions of others after spending three years living, and working with the Iona Community on a very small island. Here she discovered that, for her, it was most fun doing music with (rather than for) people. In order to deepen this experience she then completed a degree in Community Arts (specialising in music) at Strathclyde University in Glasgow: graduating with first class honours and a big caffeine habit. At the same time she came across the Community Drum Circle movement in the USA, and headed off to Hawaii to train with its foremost exponent, Arthur Hull. She continued her studies by completing her PhD based on drum circles and improvisation, highlighting the effects of group music making on human wellbeing – the first time that the practice of drum circle facilitation has been studied at this level. Further training has included improvisation with the Grammy award winning cellist David Darling and his Music for People organisation, vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, and two European Union Leonardo Da Vinci ‘Transfer of Innovation’ projects on music in health settings with the Royal Northern College of Music and Musique et Sante, Paris. Her work as a facilitator has broken new ground in the field of health and wellbeing, through her long-term collaborations with mental health occupational therapy staff in the UK National Health Service. In 2007, she established ‘The Buddy Beat’ drumming group, which won the Epic award for the best voluntary arts project in Scotland, and inspired the formation of several other drumming groups for mental wellbeing. In 2016, she was named a BBC Music ‘Unsung Hero’ for her work in the community. She presents at both national and international conferences on the subject of drum circle facilitation, and the potential of music making for social development. As a trainer, she has been delighted to collaborate with two of Scotland’s best known orchestras – the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, to develop and extend their work with children and adults in hospitals across Scotland. She has been involved in training musicians, music therapists, occupational therapists, nursing staff and activity co-ordinators from Brighton to Chicago.
Paul John Dear is one of the most experienced VMC trained and certified Drum Circle Facilitator/Trainers in the world and has developed his facilitation skills in a wide variety of settings including Educational, Corporate and Community. He is also the Musical Director of Rhythmbridge and Tinto Music and Arts, Program Director and Trainer for the UK Playshop and the creator of Expressive Rhythm Stories trainings. Paul has studied culturally specific rhythms across the years with the following teachers. Lamine Bodian, Senegal, (Bougarabou.) Koulaty Kabo, Senegal, (Serouba.) Tetty Amoah, Ni Tagoe, Ben Lawrence, Ghana, (Kpanlogo/Ewe Drums.) Guinea, Iya Sako, Sekou Keita, Nanasady Keita, (Djembe, djun djun.) Mohammed Ibna Sin, Morocco, (Bendir, Darabuk.) Duddu Tucci, Claudio Kron, Brazil, (Samba Reggae, Timbau, Repenique, Surdo.) Paul has performed as a drummer and percussionist with Beyondrum, The Kajamor Family and Maghribibeat and was part of the team that delivered the incredible boutique Rhythm and Grooves Festival of African Music and Dance in West Yorkshire for 3 years in the 90’s. Paul has been a key figure in the development of Tinto Music and Arts over the last 8 years and is proud to have been a member of the team that developed and brought to life The Path of the Little People, a sensory music, environmental story trail, in conjunction with Wiston Lodge. Educational workshops have been at the core of Paul’s work since 1999 and he is now delivering an exciting  Expressive Rhythm Stories Training in the UK and internationally. Paul is a charismatic Trainer and Workshop Facilitator and delivers his sessions with warmth, humour, a high degree of professionalism and a presence based heart centred approach.