Mission

Our mission is to innovate business and society.

Talking Drum applies the social ingenuity of African rhythm creating positive change in individuals & organisations.

What we do

 

We design high impact leadership and team development activities for public, private and third sector organisations:

  • interactive workshops
  • engaging rhythm sessions to give an accent to your special event
  • energizing drumming mornings or afternoons at your office
  • icebreakers and short energizers for conferences and training programs

We work directly with you and for you, to customize our programs according to your organisation’s needs and preferences.

Our approach

We apply the experiential learning concept characterized by a high level of active involvement. You will experience learning on the behavioral and affective dimensions as well as the cognitive dimension.

We draw on the latest research on the impact of behavioral synchrony (rituals, musical performances, etc.) on cooperation:

  • Recent empirical studies indicate that synchronous group movement, also the bases of Talking Drum workshops, enhances group cohesion, social affiliation, and cooperation 1, 2.
  • Making music encourages us to keep a constant audiovisual representation of the collective intention and shared goal of vocalizing and moving together in time — thereby effectively satisfying the intrinsic human desire to share emotions, experiences and activities with others 2.
  • Synchronous activity is positively correlated with connectedness and trust among group members 3, making it an effective tool for team-building and boosting social competence in your organisation.

 

Basis

BASIS

  • Conversational space. Rhythm replaces words, allowing a new form of communication to take place.
  • Sound-based interaction. New perspective on team functioning and personal effectiveness.
  • Ritual elements of West African music. Social interaction that encourages self reflection and team orientation. Fascinating rhythmic universe and role taking will assure a multi-layered experience.

 

Tools

TOOLS

  • Djembe. Popular and powerful hand drum, originally from West Africa.
  • Dunduns. Lower tone melodic bass drums.
  • Lighter percussion instruments, voice, body percussion, rhythmics and elements from theater.


 

BenefitBENEFIT

  • Openness. Breaks down the unnecessary barriers and encourages people to listen to each other. Helps to adapt to change.
  • Cooperation. Positive group dynamics is a natural outcome. We encourage cooperation rather than competition.
  • Self-development. The quality of outcome will rely on each person’s input. Space and time for self-reflection and positioning yourself in a team.
  • Motivation. Highly empowering. Reduces stress and evokes positive emotion.


SUITABLE FOR EVERYONE

No need to be musically talented or to have any prior experience with music. Everyone can join in and enjoy the process, no matter what her or his abilities in music are.

  References

1. Hove J. M. & Risen J. L. (2009). It’s All in the Timing: Interpersonal Synchrony Increases Affiliation. Social Cognition, 27,  949-960.
2. Kirschner, S. & Tomasello, M. (2010). Joint music making promotes prosocial behavior in 4-year-old children. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31, 354-364.
3. Cohen, E., Mundry R. & Kirschner S. (2014). Religion, synchrony, and cooperation. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 4 (1), 20-30.

About us

Workshops are led by Aakusti Oksanen and Mariann Nagatsu.

aakusti200Aakusti Oksanen (FM) is the founder of Djembepaja, Talking Drum, Mande Maja Association and several African music groups. He has a wide pedagogical experience varying from music to theatre since 1993. Oksanen is a musician and documentarist specializing in West African culture. He teaches at Käpylä Music Institute, University of The Arts Helsinki, Metropolia and leads Drum Circle facilitator courses. Oksanen performs with numerous music groups, incl Mande Maja Band and Aiyekooto Afrobeat International.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMariann Nagatsu (PsM) is a co-founder and trainer of Talking Drum. Mariann has a wide-ranging experience as an advisor for top executives development and talent management at Estonian Government Office. She has a MSc in psychology and hands-on experience in human resources management across different organisations. Her passion is to adapt the social nature of African rhythm for organisational development.

 

 

Depending on the aim of the workshop and size of the group, additional experts can be involved to maximise the benefit for the group.

Practical info

  • We work in Finnish, English, French and Estonian. 
  • We work with groups of all sizes.
  • We are mobile and flexible in using space.

Choose a program available on our website or let us know about your needs. We will design the program according to your specific request.

Contact

Please contact us by form below, by email paja@djembepaja.fi or phone +358 (0)45 655 5558 to specify your needs and agree upon a suitable price for your activity.

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Our Programs

Building a High-Performance Team

Building a High-Performance Team

Building a High-Performance Team

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Building a High-Performance Team

What are the challenges you face in building a high performance team? We present a unique and enjoyable conversational space, where we can work through these issues using the language of drumming.

We will create a band from your team. Through the dialogue of rhythms you will experience new perspectives on team communication, collaboration and self-expression—how to make yourself better heard and understood. Creative environment makes it possible to approach the topics important for the team in a more natural way, while already providing a positive experience of a successful cooperation. This gives new possibilities to develop yourself as an individual and as a team-member.

We work directly with you and for you, to customize our programs according to your organisation’s preferences. Different elements from Team Creativity and Lead with the Beat workshops can be brought in. Workshop can be arranged as a morning or afternoon activity or all-day event.

Printable full version of the program can be found here.

Lead with the Beat

V Lead with the Beat

Lead with the Beat

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Lead with the Beat

Great leaders give their teams chance to grow by allowing experimentation and choosing the instruments that are best for them. How often do you allow this experimentation for yourself?

With this workshop we will create a musical environment where you can step out from the daily routines and take a new glance at yourself as a leader. What it is like to be lead by you? We will explore in a creative and supportive atmosphere the way you lead your people, deal with multiple roles and expectations and achieve collective commitment.

You will have a chance to be a composer. Rather than focusing on what you create, we will look at what are the hidden resources you could use to achieve the desired result and grow as a leader. We will also explore how well does your perception about yourself match with how others see you. The change of an angle will evoke awareness of yourself, of others and of surroundings that will give a new perspective on how to tune yourself in to the beat that is around you. And become a better leader.

Printable full version of the program can be found here.

Team Creativity

Team Creativity

Team Creativity

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Team Creativity

In this workshop everyone will have a chance to be an artist! You will experience different exercises that will help you shake off the routines so you can see new opportunities at your work. Have a try and stretch a bit your limits while feeling good about bringing out the hidden resources within yourself.

Rediscover your creative confidence—your ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to implement them. We will overcome the common fears that hold most of us back and support your confidence in communicating your ideas.

The experience of creating music will give you a new perspective on working together as a team. You will experience how a team can have an active role in creating a supportive atmosphere that will encourage self expression and making mistakes. And learning from them.

Printable full version of the program can be found here.

Start Your Day with Drumming!

VI Start Your Day with Drumming!

Start Your Day with Drumming!

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Start Your Day with Drumming!

As the season is changing, we would like to add some positive energy into your working day. Why not to start your day with a short drumming session at your office?

Bringing the West-African rhythms next to your office desks will give a very different feeling for the day! African drumming creates a joyful and inspiring atmosphere, relieves stress and raises the team-spirit. You might want to try it out once or it can become a monthly tradition. It might even become the reason why your people will start to like Monday mornings.

Printable full version of the program can be found here.

Traditional Drumming

II Traditional Drumming

Traditional Drumming

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Traditional Drumming

This workshop is designed in a traditional African drum circle style with an aim to create a rhythm in a team.

Everyone is encouraged to take different roles and experience the perspectives that vary from keeping of the basic beat to performing an improvised leading solo. We start from the very basics of the music and proceed in a positive atmosphere.

The collective joy from playing the rhythms breaks down the unnecessary barriers within the group, encourages people to listen to each other and thus supports the positive group dynamics and team spirit.

As the quality of outcome will rely on each person's contribution, everyone will have an active part in composing the final result. Workshop will be entertaining as well as inspiring. It works well as a stress relief for the team, while evoking a positive emotion to carry on to the next working day.

It can be ordered as part of a special event (e.g. pikkujoulu) or as a separate activity.

Printable full version of the program can be found here.

Icebreakers and Energizers

I Icebreakers and energizers

Icebreakers and Energizers

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Icebreakers and Energizers

Whether it is the opening of a conference that needs an energizing start to break ice and bond people or it is the after-lunch break where you see the challenge to have the participants active and focused – using the elements from African traditional music as an icebreaker or energizer adds a special moment to your important event.

We will play with the fascinating rhythmic universe of West African traditional music engaging the participants into creating the rhythms. It melts the barriers between people and works as an effective way to get diverse groups to communicate with each other. Having your attention refocused as well as the feeling of achievement as a group creates a positive basis for any further activity.

It is easy to inject the messages your organisation wants to communicate into the program.

Printable version of the program can be found here.