“Praise God with Drum and Dance!” -Psalm 150:4 (CEB)

All of Life is Rhythm

In December 2013, I took my first Djembe (African Drumming) lesson with Monette Marino and I was hooked! She loves drumming so much that she smiles the whole time and lights up the room with her rhythm and beauty.

I faithfully studied traditional rhythms with Monette for an entire year, attending weekly classes and even worked for her as a back-up drummer and singer at one of her private party performances. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life to pick up a drum and learn to play it.

I started noticing that so much of life is rhythm.

My body has two basic rhythms of heartbeat and breathing, as well as sleep cycle (sun cycle), hormonal cycle (moon cycle), seasonal changes in my physiology and annual cycles of emotion that I experience (revolution of the earth).

As I began studying the traditional Djembe rhythms, I became aware that the space in between the drum beats was just as important as the beat itself.

I had to concentrate to play the drum in the proper place with the correct hand position at the right time with the right volume. And I also had to learn to hear the position and length of the spaces in between.


A rhythm is not comprised of only beats, but it is also comprised of spaces in between.


It’s the beat and the space in between the beats that makes a rhythm.


I teach all my patients how to use rhythmical deep belly breathing to relax and calm down when they are feel worried or having a dizzy spell.

And then I try to get them to laugh with me for the health of it!

These days I am able to concentrate enough to enjoy the space in my life between migraines, and episodes of vertigo or pain. 

It is my hope that my patients can begin to notice the space in between their episodes of illness as well.

Gratitude to my Teacher and Mentor:


Monette Marino is a world percussionist. She spent the majority of the last 20 years studying under Master Drummer Mamady Keita from Guinea. In 1999 she received her Teaching Certificate from Mr. Keita and opened a branch of Tam Tam Mandingue USA in San Diego, California. From 2004–2012 she managed Mamady’s world tours, assisted him in teaching master classes, and performed with his ensemble, Sewa Kan. She received her diploma from Mamady Keita & Tam Tam Mandingue in 201

She has since branched out as a solo artist releasing her debut album “Coup d’Eclat” and also opened her own school of percussion called MO’RHYTHM. In addition, Monette Marino has created an iPhone App “Mo’Rhythm Africa – Play Along Djembe/Dunun App” now available on iTunes for iPhone/iPad/Apple TV. Prior to her involvement in West African percussion Monette studied folkloric and popular rhythms from Cuba, Brazil, and Korea.

To reach Monette directly, please visit her website.

Photos used with permission from monettemarino.com.



This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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