$279 – $399

Music and Wellness Leadership Training

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$279 – $399

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Lead your own transformative music and wellness programs for anxiety relief, mood improvement, brain health, connection, mindfulness.. more

About this Event

Music and Wellness Leadership Training

With Jim Donovan M.Ed.

Participate Live on Zoom — January 29 and 30, 2021.

Or take the training using the event recordings which will be provided to all registrants.

Beginners Welcome, Prior Music Training Is Not Required.

Learn how you can use research based sound, rhythm and movement to support:

  • Mood improvement
  • Pain relief
  • Chronic stress, anxiety, panic reduction
  • Brain health
  • Social connection
  • Motor coordination
  • Energy and stamina building
  • Creative self expression

About the training:

Life in the 2020’s has presented unprecedented challenges for people worldwide.

As a result, rates of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, social isolation, sleep problems and poorer health are rising rapidly.

Yet throughout human existence, we’ve always faced adversity in one form or another.

Before our high-tech world existed, cultures globally used (and in some cases still use) tools that are “built in” to every human being to soothe and rebalance themselves.

Among these are:

  • Sound
  • Rhythm
  • Songs
  • Movement
  • Social Connection

Though these music-based activities have lasted for thousands of years and haven’t been lost, they’ve been widely neglected.

I believe it’s time to reclaim these tools and make them easily usable at a time when people need them the most.

That’s why I created The Music and Wellness Leadership Training.

It’s a system that shows you how to design and lead your own transformational Music and Wellness experiences using each of these “built-in” tools – even if you don’t have prior musical training.

This program is appropriate for anyone interested in learning Music and Wellness strategies, best practices, facilitation skills, and program design in a way that best fits you.

In this in-depth, 2-day live virtual experience, you will receive 8+ hours of hands-on training and practice designed to teach you the skills you need to lead meaningful and successful experiences with any person or group.

Whether you are:

  • A professional looking for new effective tools to support the people you serve...
  • New to leading groups and are looking for help getting started...
  • A graduate of Jim Donovan's other training programs...
  • Just curious and want to learn something new....

This training has something for you.

You’ll focus on...

Foundation Skills

During the Music and Wellness Leadership Training, you will discover how to design and lead your own transformational music and wellness experiences – both live and virtually.

To do this you’ll learn sound-based methods to support:

  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Mood improvement
  • Resilience building
  • Heart health
  • Better sleep

You’ll also discover rhythm and movement strategies to promote:

  • Brain health
  • Social connection
  • Motor coordination
  • Creative self expression

Skill Refinement & Support

You’ll explore and practice facilitation and leadership “best practices” that will help you earn trust and reduce participant resistance – all while gaining confidence in bringing the best out in others.

You can also expect to receive a wealth of support materials after the training to continue learning and skill refinement.

Additionally, you’ll be granted access to post-training support materials including:

  • Best practices tutorials for optimizing music making using Zoom.
  • The videos from our live session.
  • Predesigned practice regimens for ongoing skill building and refinement.
  • Scripts for each strategy so you’ll always know what to say when leading an exercise.
  • Printable PDF Script “cheat sheets” and pre-designed downloadable event templates.
  • A large collection of peer reviewed research about Music and Wellness for your proposals and grants.
  • Free Access Codes to Jim Donovan’s Play Along - MP3 Library.
  • Discount code for rhythm instrument purchase.

You’ll also receive:

  • Access to our private Facebook trainee graduate group to ask questions, get/share ideas and offer support to others.
  • 8 contact hours of training.
  • A printable Certificate of Completion denoting your contact hours.
  • An electronic version of the 300 page Drum Circle Leadership manual.

During the training, you can expect:

  • A positive, welcoming and accepting atmosphere.
  • A completely engaging and interactive experience.
  • An organized progression and presentation of material.
  • To focus on how you might be of the highest service to others and yourself.
  • To always have the freedom to choose how you interact.
  • Opportunities to practice in real-time with other trainees.
  • To be encouraged to combine your existing skills with those you learn at the training.
  • Generous post-training support materials.
  • To leave the training with a design outline and concrete next steps.
  • To laugh and have a great time!

In addition you'll gain valuable skills for your personal and professional life.

These include:

  • How to create transformational and fail-proof events for you and your participants.
  • How to lessen and eliminate resistance from your groups.
  • Natural strategies for supporting lifelong health and wellness.
  • How to create an infinite source of music making starter beats with "Rhythm Seeds" methodology.
  • Beginner friendly social music games for all ages.
  • How to integrate drums, percussion and budget friendly instruments.
  • How to gain competence and confidence leading and speaking with groups.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone interested in utilizing the power of music for wellness for themselves.
  • Professionals who are looking for new effective tools to support the people they serve.
  • Addiction and recovery counselors and support staff
  • Church and spiritual group leaders
  • Educators
  • Behavioral healthcare specialists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Social workers
  • Alternative healers
  • After school activity directors
  • People who work with disadvantaged youth
  • Disaster relief workers
  • Music Therapists
  • Music Teachers
  • Drum Circle Facilitators
  • Therapeutic music makers
  • Anyone who works with people with PTSD and returning veterans
  • Anyone who works with children
  • Camp Counselors
  • Grief Counselors
  • Sexual abuse and domestic violence counselors
  • Corporate facilitators seeking new tools for their activity toolbox

Learn more about:

  • Inclusion regardless of ability
  • Letting go of perfectionism
  • Being present as a leader
  • Serving the group
  • Finding ways to flow with change
  • Learning the value of collaboration
  • How to manage mistakes
  • How to empower your participants
  • How to create fail-proof drum circles
  • A wide variety of malleable drumming and voice methods
  • How to build your own event from the ground up
  • How to play the various drums and percussion commonly used in rhythm events
  • How to use rhythm as a means to enhance personal development
  • How to use rhythm to lead health and wellness experiences


Remember that you're welcome to participate in this training in one of two ways – live with the group, or at your leisure using the recordings from the live event.

Recordings will be sent to all registrants the day after the live event is complete.

Course Participation:

If this is your first time participating in a virtual workshop, it's easy.

We'll be gathering each day using Zoom – an online meeting service.

Soon after you register for the training, I'll send you easy instructions on how to access our sessions on their scheduled days.

If you need to miss a session for any reason, you're covered!

I'll grant you access to the recording of the full event.

Here are a few things you’ll want to have on hand to make your experience more comfortable:

  • Your favorite drum, instrument and / or percussion.
  • Headphones, a laptop or desktop computer with a high speed connection
  • Journal or open computer document.
  • Comfortable clothes that are easy for you to move in. (Movement is optional!)
  • A willingness to try new things.

Schedule and Training Modules

Jan. 29-30, 2021 [Times below are Eastern Time and the entire event will be recorded so that registrants may watch and rewatch any time.]


6:45 PM: Zoom Meeting Opens

7 PM - 9:30 PM:

  • Introduction: Foundation Concepts
  • Introducing Music Assisted Facilitation
  • Rhythm, the brain and neuroplasticity exercises.
  • Sound, the voice and vagus nerve stimulation
  • Movement, energy and stress reduction
  • Self expression and beginner friendly music creation
  • Guided Practice
  • Sound, resilience building and stress reduction


9 AM - 12 PM

  • Post-training Support Materials Overview
  • Earning trust and reducing resistance
  • Rhythm and Social Connection
  • Sound, mood, heart health and vagal tone
  • Movement and Social Connection
  • Guided Practice
  • Program Design


1 PM - 3:00 PM

  • Anxiety First Aid Mini Program
  • Guided Practice
  • Program Refinement
  • Mock Event
  • Next Steps

A recording of the event will be available after the training ends in the event that you prefer to watch at an alternate time.

Music and Wellness Leadership Training Curriculum

© 2020 Jim Donovan Music, All rights reserved.

Training Outcomes

By the end of this training you should be able to. . .

  • identify your own personal steps to increasing competency
  • facilitate music and wellness strategies with the people you serve.
  • adapt music and wellness strategies to your own or other’s needs.
  • design your own music and wellness programs.

What is our goal?

To learn how to use beginner friendly musical strategies to support self expression, mood improvement, stress and anxiety relief and as a means to encourage socialization.


  • Participants in this training will understand how to . . .
  • comfortably and effectively use music and wellness strategies for themselves and with others
  • adapt existing strategies to their own specific client needs.
  • create an atmosphere of inclusion and safety prior to implementing any strategy.

and that…

  • non-­musicians can effectively use music for improved wellness.
  • prior musical experience and the ability to read music is not a requirement.
  • using music is not necessarily loud and disruptive.

Questions to be addressed:

  • Why is musical expression an effective way to support self-expression, stress relief, mood improvement and as a means to encourage socialization in people?
  • What must one learn to maximize effectiveness when facilitating music and wellness strategies?
  • What skills do you need to be able to adapt an existing music and wellness strategy to your own specific needs?
  • Why is it important to create an atmosphere of safety, inclusion and positivity before implementing a music and wellness strategy?

By the end of this training you will know. . .

  • a philosophy of inclusive facilitation and leadership.
  • methodology for creating safe, inclusive and positive environments.
  • methodology and examples of music and wellness strategies
  • the research behind the techniques.

By the end of this training you will be able to. . .

  • facilitate music and wellness strategies with the people you serve.
  • adapt music and wellness strategies to their own or other’s needs.
  • design your own music and wellness programs.

What is music and wellness and strategy?

A music and wellness strategy is a technique that uses easy-to-learn musical approaches, instruments, and methods as a way to elicit a desired behavioral response, such as encouraging self expression, building social connections, mood improvement and stress reduction.

Examples include:

  • Expressive group music making.
  • Rhythm and movement exercises.
  • Social music games.
  • Vocal vagus nerve stimulation exercises.
  • Breath work.
  • Guided sound based relaxation.

About Jim:

Jim Donovan M.Ed. is a professional musician, trainer, Assistant Professor and Director of Music and Wellness at Saint Francis University and TEDx speaker.

His TEDx Talk "How to Trick Your Brain Into Falling Asleep" has been viewed over 4 million times to date.

His mission is to share the healing power of music through education and performance. He specializes in placing music and wellness programs in organizations who focus on people with disabilities and people recovering from addiction.

A short list of current clients include: The State of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Pyramid Healthcare, Maryland Recovery, Networks for Training, RHD- Resources for Human Development.

Donovan performs with his band Sun King Warriors and was a founding member of the multi-platinum band Rusted Root. There he co-wrote the song “Send Me on My Way” featured in the movies "Ice Age", "Matilda" and the Netflix Film "Holiday in the Wild".

It also became the first song on Mars where it “woke up” NASA’s Mars Rover.

Having presented over 3000+ rhythm and sound based programs since 1999, Donovan works internationally facilitating music and wellness events with a wide variety of populations including corporate, university, people with disabilities, and people recovering from addiction.


Here's just a sample of what past trainees are saying:

"This was hands down one of the best trainings I have ever been to! I learned so much, and Jim's style of teaching is laid back and reassuring so I felt comfortable to try out the new skills. A great way to recharge and get energized." -Sydney Stevenson.

"Jim Donovan has a gift for helping facilitators understand objectives, program design, and their role as serving leaders. I highly recommend this training to anyone wishing to hone their skills in serving others..."

-Toni Kellar

"..love every aspect of Jim's teaching style. I find myself always learning more in the workshops than the intention i put in."  -Phils Maddie

"I was a little concerned about remembering everything that we learned packed into just a day and a half. However, Jim made it so clear and so much fun with plenty of opportunities to practice the different leadership components that I am feeling confident to lead the drum circle event next weekend with friends and friends of friends.

Plus the friendships and connections made with folks from all different walks of life allows for collaboration and inspiration." - Linda Soto

"What an awesome event this was. The knowledge, collaboration and experience that Jim provided was way beyond my expectations. I highly recommend!" - Linda Kramer

"The training was above and beyond what I expected on every level. I cannot what to use what I learned at work and at home. It was seriously one of the best trainings I have ever attended. Jim is a wonderful instructor and gives you everything you need to empower you to facilitate your own drum circle. I highly recommend!!"  -Michelle Slusser

"Thank you Jim Donovan!! I am so grateful to have attended the Training with you!! The training was SO much more than what I expected!! I was feeling worn and depleted when I went to the training and and was starting to feel better in the first few SECONDS of the training!! I came out feeling refreshed, relaxed, and recharged!! I left with tools to not only help myself, but to share with others!! The connection amongst a group of strangers was truly amazing and heart warming!! I felt like I have known them for a long time!! Jim's kind genuine spirit and natural talent puts you at ease and creates a safe and healing environment!! I think in today's society of technology, we are missing the basic human connection with others. I felt that connection through this training and am truly grateful!! I had no drumming experience, but don't let that stop anyone from missing out on this opportunity!! There is no right or wrong!! Just SMILE and keep on going!!"

- Debbie Derflinger

"One word: FABULOUS!!! I had the best time and learned how to be an effective drum circle leader. It was a transformational training for me and I am sure for many others as well. I look forward to putting what I learned to good use in my workplace and in my personal life. Jim was a terrific facilitator who provided a very energetic, fun, and nonjudgmental space to rock it out comfortably! Highly recommend! 5 stars." 

- Catherine Massey

"What a beautiful and soul giving experience! Jim is such an amazing person! His ability to help people feel at ease and release walls so that we may go out into the world with this new uplifting skill is truly beyond words. We walked into the experience as 30 strangers not knowing exactly what to expect....and as the two days of magical, musical fun concluded, I realized the room full of strangers had been transformed into love. I feel so blessed and grateful to have been a part of this amazing group! Thank You Jim!!! A million times over!" -Robin Sproull

"What a great way to spend a weekend! I honestly felt as though I had been away on a vacation at the end of the two days. Jim's DCL training was refreshing, rejuvenating, and enlightening in so many ways. From a more professional standpoint, in my work as both a licensed counselor and as a massage therapist, I gained skills to share with clients struggling with anxiety, depression, and difficulty with sleep patterns. I also was reminded in a very visceral way of the importance and health benefits of connecting with our creativity and fun, especially with a group. I look forward to passing this on and finding ways to make this a regular practice in my own life.

Many thanks to you, Jim, for all of the expertise and passion that you bring to your work, as well as spreading the importance of service in our lives." - Cathyann Simmons

"Jim is a gifted drummer, teacher, and group leader. He understands and has thoughtfully developed a model and a process for teaching the skills and activities that will maximize success for his students. Perhaps it is because I am an 'old' teacher who has always been sympathetic with those who criticize humorless and fun-less approaches to learning, but Jim's philosophy and presentation resonated with me and will resonate with anyone who believes that time spent learning should be joyous and fun. It is affirming to find how effective teachers can quickly develop changes in skills, attitude and mood. I believe any participant in one of his workshops has the potential to be one of my kindred learning spirits. Thanks for the weekend of fun and learning." -Bill Casile

"The Drum Leadership weekend in Pittsburgh was tremendous. Jim’s been teaching these topics for many years and has honed it to a fine art form. Everyone not only enjoyed the sessions but learned a lot from Jim and from each other, some of which were experienced “Facilitators” in a variety of situations. Well It was well-worth the almost 1,300 round trip from South Carolina but I wasn’t the person coming from the farthest distance. We had a participant from Germany!" - A Lanny Kraus

"The training was very enlightening. The way Jim makes everyone feel welcome and capable is beyond amazing! My key take away was participating will help reduce suffering. The world definitely needs more of that! Every moment was spent learning a technique that will help people! I highly recommend this training to anyone who wants to lead a program as small as team building or as big as therapy for non verbal individuals! He gives you the greatest template to start and the sky is the limit to what you can do with it!

- Brandie Wadsworth

"It is better than one can imagine! Jim is an outstanding teacher - very welcoming and inviting. He makes learning easy. He is very generous with the teachings and genuinely wants us to succeed. I make it a point to attend any of his trainings I can." - Connie Lawrence

"From the beginning of the training Jim made us feel very welcome and comfortable. At first I was concerned about my lack of percussion experience. That went away rather quickly as Jim provided us with the tools to "smile and keep going". He provides an environment that infectiously brings people together and opens their minds and hearts to learning. I gained so much confidence from this course. I'm looking forward to taking more trainings with Jim." - Heather O'Neill

I just wanted to send you a quick note to say THANK YOU for everything you gave me at the training last weekend. Today I had my first circle since attending the training, and the difference was like night and day. We had several total newbies show up either brought by family members or just from the community at large, many of whom were reluctant or afraid to give drumming a chance. I had one woman who told me outright that she had no rhythm, and would just be watching. I used the tools you gave me to create conditions and expectations, and others handed her a shaker. I watched her move from the shaker to claves to a small djembe. At the end of the circle, she told me how surprised she was to discover she did have musical ability after all, and how much fun she had.

— Diana H. Training Participant

I attended Jim Donovan’s Drum Facilitator & Teacher Training so that I could get drum circles going in my area to help build community and to give me more options to drum myself. I got so much more out of this program than just learning to lead a drum circle. The program held so many insights into the dynamics of facilitating people and empowering me and others towards true connectedness. There is a powerful feeling of wellbeing inside the circle that words just cannot describe. I highly recommend this program to anyone who works with people of any age or just wants to improve their circle/life skills. — Teresa B. Training Participant

Sitting in the circle with people who had a wide variety of experience and expertise was at first humbling and a bit scary for me. But Jim has a way of getting participants to open their hearts, minds, and spirits to empower success. Since the Facilitator Training Course I have used a thought process that Jim espouses during the training: There are no mistakes in the Circle..... which I interpreted as that I could not make a mistake if they did not exist. And if a person thinks they made a mistake then Jim says just keep on playing....even louder and smile bigger! To this day my mind, heart, and spirit continue to smile because of this powerful philosophy and way of life. I am attempting to use this philosophy in my everyday activities as well. Life is definitely becoming more peace-filled! As a result of this course I am becoming connected to more and more like-minded people.— Pat F Ph.D

I, too, had a very successful, hugely successful circle with a group of women with addictions on Wed. eve. I’m still buzzin’ from it. I would like to thank myself for choosing you, Jim, as my teacher. I’m happy to say that I left this group of 14 women empowered, and wanting more. I’ve never received so many hugs and handshakes in one evening. We went around the circle talking about our experience and the feedback was all positive, all amazing, very impressive. These women wanted to express their goodness, they wanted to share how they were feeling & they loved it. In the end, I put some artwork that I drew in the middle of the circle and invited them to pick the one that best suited how they were feeling. (Not one person felt sad!-) I get to share with these women for the next three weeks now as they continue on their recovery journey. I’m so excited! I just re-lived this circle and feel just as good now as I did then. What a difference this course has made. Thank you! — Tammy O. Training Participant

I felt, heard and sang to the rhythm all 6 1/2 hours as I returned to NY. I’m vibrating with the energy of everyone and everything. The inspiration kick started the rhythm class.... I sent an email to the LAC Drum Circle email list, friends and family. I’m offering 8 dates starting tonight. I’m jumping in! Still pumped! Within an hour I had people signing up for the classes. I feel the support and feedback from everyone at this weekend’s training. I hear Jim’s loving voice encouraging and supportive. This is exactly what I was looking for. I think I am most impressed with the presentation of a VAST amount of material in 2 1/2 days. Jim is VERY generous with the information he is sharing with fellow teachers. It was so well organized and executed that I feel strong as I move forward in applying the additions to what I already have going on. — Sandra F. Training Participant

Since the training I have done a drum/percussion circle with a group of older folks, as well as incorporated some of the skills we learned into a bereavement music session for kids. I am so very grateful for the skills learned at the workshop... they are seamlessly incorporating themselves into my work in wonderful ways, really helping to make a difference. Thank you all...!

The rewards were bright smiles, hugs, and even tears from participants :) With the older folks, “One drum/instrument” exercise worked surprisingly well when prefacing it with “and now for something different...,” as I learned here from Sheila’s experience. Also, remembering to come out of the experiences with deep breaths has been enjoyed by participants. With the kids, the drumming portion of the experience was a kind of release. I was able to easily incorporate some cut-stops and rumbles... Turned out to be a great community-building experience for all!

— Ellen G. Training Participant

Here's everything you get:

  • 8+ hours of interactive live virtual demonstrations of each music and wellness technique – from the beginning to the end of a full program.
  • Printable Certificate of Completion denoting contact hours.
  • Downloadable scripts for every single part of your event – so you always know what to say.
  • Downloadable and Ready-to-Use Music and Wellness Program Templates 15/30/60 min.
  • Clear guides on how to practice to gain maximum proficiency.
  • Optional, structured hands-on practice time with other trainees.
  • Feedback and constructive guidance.
  • Free lifetime access to our private Leadership Training Facebook group.
  • Specific effective techniques that will help you overcome pre-event nervousness.
  • An understanding of the science behind the benefits of music.
  • Access to a full collection of peer reviewed research supporting the music and wellness benefits.

Plus, by registering today, you'll also receive these valuable bonuses:

  • 8+ hours of live interaction, lessons and live Q&A with Jim, virtual demonstrations of each music and wellness technique – from the beginning to the end of a full program. (Value $399)
  • Lifetime access to the complete Event Recordings (Value $399)
  • Downloadable / Printable Exercise Guides. ($37 value)
  • Downloadable scripts for every single part of your event – so you always know what to say. ($37 value)
  • Downloadable and ready-to-use professional Music and Wellness Program Templates 15/30/60 min. ($199 value)
  • Free Access to Jim’s Sound and Rhythm Play Along MP3 Library ($37 value)
  • 50% off your first year of Drum Circle Leadership Self Study Online Course (optional). (189.50 value)
  • First access to VIP discounted tickets to all of Jim's upcoming events. ($100-$250 value per event)
  • Jim's New Whole Life Sound Healing eBook filled with exercises and the research behind the methods (Value $39)

Total value: $1436

✅ You pay: $297

This offer is closing soon.

Space is limited.

A few days before the event, I will email you your Zoom link and directions on how to access our live meeting.

Access to all support materials is granted at the conclusion of the training.

If you're ready to:

  • Play an important role in helping people to meet the challenges of today's world...
  • Experience a meaningful and highly enjoyable experience...
  • Build valuable skills you can use for the rest of your life...

Just click the green ticket button above to claim your spot and I'll see you soon!

Jim Donovan

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