Mark Walker’s Talking Drums
Talking Drums is a drumming workshop ideal for corporate events or any situation that requires motivation, inspiration, fun, stress relief and team building.
...Your enthusiasm was totally infectious, capturing everyone’s imagination, and your ability to connect with people and motivate them was fantastic…Jan McKewan – Event Organiser, Virgin Atlantic
...It was a fun bonding event and definitely achieved our goal. Everyone in the group really enjoyed it and walked away energised and inspired...Sacha Dekker – Head Of Sales Effectiveness, LinkedIn International
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Conference Drumming Activities
Our conference drumming activities are perfect for energising and enthusing the weariest of attendees, and more importantly are a great way of introducing and reinforcing your conference themes, brand values and corporate messages, highlighting communication, roles, support, respect, culture, trust, working together, listening, one team and together stronger.
Ideal for groups of 10 to 2,000 or more, conference activities range from short and motivating 10 minute energisers to an exhilarating 2 – 3 hour session using a whole host of drums, percussion and fun unusual world music instruments such as didgeridoos and washboards. And of course, sessions can be tailored to suit any time frame in between.
Making music together creates a shared vision and connection that gives confidence to all and opens up a positive attitude to what can be achieved as a group. Many people give a collective groan when the idea of “team building” is raised, which is unsurprising given that many traditional team building activities tend to emphasise the divisions in a team, with the dominant members leading and asserting themselves whilst the quieter ones just let them get on with it and hide in the background.
Energising, Uplifting and Accessible to All
Mark Walker’s sessions are the complete opposite. He starts with an introduction that acknowledges participants’ different perspectives and starting positions, (albeit in a relaxed and humorous manner), and very quickly has a group who are equals, having fun together and creating a fantastic sound in harmony – the dominant members can’t dominate and the quieter members can’t hide, but the important thing is, they don’t want to, they are too busy interacting, creating, being inspired, and above all, having fantastic fun in harmony.
And through this fun team issues are unobtrusively highlighted – working together, roles within a team, communication, support, trust, positivity to achieve, being creative as individuals and together, playing to the same beat and the power of the collective are inherent throughout.
Drumming Performances and Audience Participation
In addition to conference and team building sessions there are a large number of situations where percussion and drummers can enhance an event, including after dinner entertainment, product launches, sports fixtures, family fun days, private parties and weddings. These can be stand alone drumming performances, guest participation sessions, or, as often as not, both.
Mark Walker has created drum troupes on numerous occasions for specific events, with anything from 4 to 40 drummers. He has put together bespoke groups for a wide range of companies including Burberry, Nationwide, Virgin Atlantic, BT, Heineken, Tiger Balm, CABI, Carlsberg, Reading FC, Newcastle United, Harlequins and Wasps Rugby clubs.
For Burberry’s Brit Rhythm fragrance launch he choreographed 22 drummers performing a commissioned piece in their flagship store, and has had musicians entertaining the crowds at Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and at rugby grounds around the UK and Europe for Heineken Cup matches, not to mention in Trafalgar Square for the annual British 10K London run, and appearing on the BBC, GMTV and Sky Sports.
Drummers are perfect for Corporate Hospitality events, creating an exciting and unique atmosphere at the entrance as guests arrive, or performing around the venue during a function.
Drummers always bring a vibrancy to an event, and create a fun and enjoyable atmosphere that brings a smile to the faces of all the guests. And whilst the excitement can come from the sound of the drums, the drummers don’t necessarily have to be noisy – using a variety of world music instruments such as African xylophones and didgeridoos they can create gentle and unusual pieces of music as an unusual and different take on the usual background string quartet or pianist..
And, as with everything they do, if requested the drummers will let the guests join in too, handing out shakers and even drums for them to enter into the fun…
DRUMS – all delegates create uplifting and inspiring rhythms with drums.
BOOMWHACKERS – musical plastic tubes struck on the hand that create enchanting melodies and are easy to distribute to large conference attendees in seconds.
HAKA – The All Blacks Haka learned and performed by all delegates – invigorating, enthusing, and great fun!
SAMBA – Delegates all participate in creating a fantastic Samba Drum band, using an array of samba drums and percussion.
PERCUSSION – Small hand held percussion for large numbers of delegates (300 plus), to accompany drums and rhythms from volunteers on stage.
BODY PERCUSSION AND MOVEMENT – African Body Percussion, Icelandic War Chant, German Shuplatter (lederhosen style clapping and thigh slapping rhythms), Karate chops.
SONG AND DANCE – African song and dance, Latin and Belly Dancing, (very visual, interactive and humorous).
DRUM WAITERS – after dinner drum performance followed by optional boomwhacker session.
DRUMMERS – performing drummers for product launches, sports events and welcoming.
Talking Drums creates a powerful team spirit and has the following benefits:
• Breaks through barriers of age, gender, culture, language, and race.
• Every individual is equally important, whether management or employee – can help break down hierarchical barriers and creates a connection.
• Stimulates and awakens all the senses – ideal for energising weary conference attendees
• No limit on numbers, effective for any number of participants from 10 – 2,000 or more
• Can be used as a metaphor to tie in with event specific brand values, messages, themes and learning points
• Flexible – sessions can be anything between 10 minutes and 3 hours, and all activities can be geared to specific events, so that events are bespoke rather than “off the shelf”
• The event can take place anywhere… hotels, conference centres, business premises, external venues etc.
• Increases awareness of others – participants positively listen and respond to each other
• Enhances focus, clarity of thinking and receptiveness to outside influences
• Individuals feel the power and benefit of a group and can take a leading or supportive role
• The result is immediate – participants experience the positive and inspiring effect instantly, building confidence and team cohesiveness
• Highlights the importance of dynamics and roles within a group
• Inspirational, entertaining, highly motivating, and stress relieving
• Highlights the place of individuality within a group – there is no right or wrong way to participate – whilst at the same time emphasising the power and significance of a team
• Participants feel exhilarated by the energy of the group
• Initial scepticism is quickly dissipated and replaced by enthusiasm – great metaphor for embracing change and being open to new ideas
• No previous experience of playing drums is required
• Sessions build an immediate synergy within a group that can normally take a long time to develop
• Making music empowers a team to do things they never would have thought possible, bringing unity to a group whilst bringing out its humanity.
• Easy – anyone can make a sound with a drum or percussion instrument, and, with facilitation, everyone can play a simple rhythm, (for example “We Will Rock You” or the “Football Clap” performed at football matches around the country), so with relatively little effort and time a group of completely inexperienced players can sound like a powerful tribal drum group.
“Thank you so much for your amazing energy and for getting everyone so involved. It was tremendous fun and the atmosphere was fantastic. I’m really grateful for what you put into it to make all the sessions such a success.”
Chris Weston – Managing Director, Centrica Business Services
“Thank you Mark. I absolutely loved the drumming session and have heard such positive comments from attendees. Whilst it nudged people out of their predefined comfort zone I think it drummed them into their new comfort zone! Desired effect!”
Janneke Dobbinga – RBS
“Every element went down well and was enjoyed by all. It really lightened up what could have been a heavy going information overload conference, and broke down barriers and brought people together. Good job!!”
Hannah Edwards – Balfour Beatty
“Thank you to you and your team, you quickly understood our key messages and delivered them perfectly. We’ve had incredible feedback from our delegates, many of whom named the drumming as a stand out component of the conference. You really can work a room!!”
Maya Knight – Projects & Events Manager, Tiffany & Co.
“Mark, what a fabulous experience! It has been a pleasure working with you, as you are clearly not just a passionate musician but also an outstanding performer and facilitator. Thank you for making us comfortable to try something new and to share this experience as a team. Truly unforgettable!”
Johanna Thompson – MARS Chocolate UK
“What can I say…I was very impressed!! I was a little nervous about drumming, as people are often so reserved that they won’t join in, but it was great to see everyone so enthused. I think this is very much down to your energetic and contagious enthusiasm. Thank you once again for truly adding value to my event.”
Jo Tate – HSBC Corporate Events
“Your enthusiasm was totally infectious, capturing everyone’s imagination, and your ability to connect with people and motivate them was fantastic… We created a wonderful sound between us, and everyone is already saying they want you back at our next event. Thank you once again…”
Jan McKewan – Event Organiser, Virgin Atlantic
“Thank you for a truly great workshop last week. It was a fun bonding event and definitely achieved our goal. Everyone in the group really enjoyed it and walked away energised and inspired.”
Sacha Dekker – Head Of Sales Effectiveness, LinkedIn International
“The feedback was brilliant, everybody thought that the drumming was memorable. Hope we get to work together again and I will recommend you to anybody who asks!”
Sharon M Naylor – National Grid, SHES Strategic Support Officer