Jim Donovan M.Ed.Leadership, is an award winning musician, educator and inspirational trainer whose mission is to empower, inspire and connect people through music. In his work, Donovan offers specialized training programs in the US and abroad focused on using rhythm, sound and other holistic techniques as vehicles for personal growth, healing, and the creation of community.
From 1990-2005, Donovan was a founding member of the 90’s band Rusted Root who has sold over 3 million records to date. He has appeared on the David Letterman, Conan O’Brien shows and his music with the band is featured major motion pictures such as Ice Age, Twister, and Matilda as well as on network TV shows American Idol. His touring work with Rusted Root provided ample opportunity to share the stage with rock legends such as Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, members of Led Zeppelin, Sting, the Dave Matthews Band and The Allman Brothers among others.
Donovan holds a BA in classical music performance from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Saint Francis University where he is also on faculty.
One of his programs, Sound Empowerment Addiction & Recovery Training is designed to teach staff in the addiction & recovery environment how to use drum circles and effective sound based techniques with residents for stress & anxiety relief, sleep problems, social connectivity, brain stimulation, confidence building and energy release in just 2 days of hands on training. Additionally, the Protocol is conceptually aligned with the 12 steps.
This unique training is designed specifically for “non-musicians” to learn the art of facilitating simple recreational group music making and aims to get them started right away.
Donovan is also involved in research at Saint Francis on a system he developed called Percussion Intervention Training program that teaches Occupational Therapists, medical professionals, parents and teachers how to use simple percussion techniques as a complementary intervention for children with autism and other disabilities. Their studies have shown that Percussion Intervention techniques significantly improve attention to task and can be an effective way to give children a positive way to express and relieve stress.
Drum Circle Research Quotes
According to the American Journal for Public Health:
Drumming Circles have applications as complementary addiction therapy, particularly for repeated relapse and when other counseling modalities have failed. (Am J Public Health, 2003;93;647-651)
Blackett & Payne (2005) found that drumming is particularly useful for stress reduction and emotional release, and it also provided a positive social group experience with day-treatment substance abusers.
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