Art Beat specialises in spontaneous musical participation – from 5, to 25,000 people. Its founder Jane Bentley is a drummer, facilitator, consultant and trainer; specialising in music in communication, health and wellbeing settings with over 20 years experience. She believes that everyone can make music – piloting musical social innovation projects as diverse as:
• exploring musical communication with corporate trainers through the medium of paper;
• making music with prisoners and their children to encourage family bonding;
• sharing the delights of improvisation with orchestral musicians who want to play in hospitals;
• creating a spontaneous bicycle orchestra for the 2018 European Championships
She has been a student of Arthur Hull’s Village Music Circles since 1999 and is now recognized as an international trainer in drum circle facilitation. She deepened her studies through 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.
Her work as a facilitator has broken new ground in the field of health and wellbeing. In 2007 she established ‘The Buddy Beat’ drumming group, named best voluntary arts project in Scotland in 2012, and which has 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 worked with musicians, orchestras, music therapists, educators, arts practitioners, and health professionals from Bathgate to Bangalore.
In 2015, she was awarded a Winston Churchill travelling Fellowship, researching the role of music in the wellbeing of older adults in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. She has just completed a year as an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Global Brain Health, at the Global Brain Health Institute, focusing on music as a resource for a healthy brain!