Inclusive Music Circles: Engagement, Leadership & Classroom Management

Who: Mary Knysh & Dr. Jane Bentley

When: June 11th & 12th
Where: YOUCAN YOUTH SERVICES 11124 130 St, Edmonton, AB T5M 0J2
Time: 9:30am-3:30pm
Cost: $299.00
Equipment Required: None
Course Description:

Want to experience and create truly connected student communities? Empower safe spaces and thriving student communities? This course is designed for music educators, music therapists and drum circle facilitators to develop and practically apply methods, techniques and practices for leading and engaging students, in creative  and inclusive music circles that emphasize improvisation, responsive musicianship, social- emotional awareness, student leadership, and community building using body percussion, voice, drums, small percussion, Boomwhackers, Orff instruments, ukuleles and all pitched instruments. Combine music and movement strategies that address student accountability, daily transitions, engagement, leadership, and higher order thinking.Using drumming, voice and melodic instruments as a means to explore group relationships, group members develop confidence in self-expression, while simultaneously learning to balance their own impulses with the needs of the larger whole, and to work together for the benefit of all. By working on this capacity of social mindfulness – developing greater listening and reciprocity – the unfolding music takes on the characteristics of a flock of birds or shoal of fish – as each person influences, and is influenced by, the others. Group consciousness emerges.Get a jump start and inspiration for the start of your next school year with Dr. Jane Bentley and Mary Knysh!

Inclusive Music Circles


Dr. Jane Bentley

TEDx Glasgow 2017 at the The SEC Armadillo

In order to deepen this experience Jane then completed a degree in Community Arts (specializing 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 it’s foremost exponent, Arthur Hull. Jane continued her studies by completing her Ph.D 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.  Jane was also a recipient of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship.


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Mary Knysh

As founder of Rhythmic Connections, an innovative company advancing education, health, community building, and creative development through drum circles and music improvisation, and primary teacher for the International Music for People organization,  Mary E Knysh  has traveled internationally for over 35 years inspiring participants to tap into healing and human potential through the transformative power of music.

Mary is also a professional musician, recording artist, and published author who works with people of all ages. A sought-after facilitator, trainer, and Orff Schulwerk clinician, she is also a teaching artist for the Young Audiences of NJ, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts and BOCES of New York State.

Endorsed by Rhythm Band Instruments, Mary collaborates with community and private organizations to design programs for healthy active aging and memory care, classroom education and management, and corporate team building. Mary continues to travel throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia offering melodic drum circles, facilitator training, senior music for wellness programs, improvisation workshops, and performances.

As an author, Mary has penned five books which assists and instructs educators, therapists, parents, and anyone interested in music, on improvisational drumming; Innovative Drum Circles: Beyond Beat Into Harmony; 1*2 Let’s All Play; Rhythms All Around: Sing It, Clap It, Move It, Tap It; BoomDoPa: A Creative Guide to Ethnic Influenced Music Improvisation, and A Day in the Forest: A Story in Sound Designed for Creative Movement. In addition Mary has produced a DVD, Drumming and Storytelling, and a CD, Walk About, featuring 15 cultural songs from around the world.

As an International educator and performer, Mary spends a lot of time on the road. When she’s not living out of a suitcase she enjoys spending time with her 4 children and 3 grandchildren, and making music with her friends.



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