What is included in DCM Training and Certification?

DCM includes a wide range of skills, from musical to interpersonal. We like to think of DCM in terms of four main areas: 1) Music,  2) Movement, 3) Process Presentation, and 4) Program Design.

Musical Skills include everything from techniques, such as playing and demonstrating drums and percussion instruments, providing a steady beat for a group, and knowing how to create and use various rhythms, to more interpersonal techniques, such as supporting other people in the group through the music. Musical skills also include knowing about dynamics, tempo, phrasing, timbre, accents, and form.

Movement Skills include things such as being able to lead basic movement games and activities that might involve moving to recorded or improvised music, creating shapes and patterns, mirroring  and shadowing others, guiding and being guided through space by using only sound, etc.

Process Presentation Skills refer to HOW you present activities and experiences. Area of focus include presenting in a progressive and logical sequence, maintaining appropriate eye contact, affect, gesture and body language throughout a session, and using appropriate language and processing questions, etc.

Program Design Skills show your ability to create population-specific session outlines that meet the needs of your clients. This includes making choices about the kinds of activities and experiences you choose to include in a session, as well as the level of challenge. DCM students are coached in creating effective programs to meet the needs of a variety of specific populations, from children to elderly, and from team building to special needs.

All skill areas are covered at a DCM training program and DCM students are required to demonstrate competency in all areas before being certified.

I already have some training in a related field. Can I become certified sooner?

The more skills you have when you begin your training in the DCM approach, the sooner your will likely be qualified for certification. Because DCM uses a skill-based certification process, rather than a sequential or attendance-based process, all the skills that you bring to DCM will help move you towards certification.

Because DCM draws from many different skill sets and professions, such as music education, music therapy, group drumming, facilitation, community building, etc., being certified in any one of those areas is not sufficient for meeting the requirements for DCM certification.

Most people take two or three years to get certified in DCM, but there is no minimum or maximum timeframe. Everyone has different backgrounds, training, strengths, and needs. We honor the uniqueness of our students by making DCM certification skill-based. Certification is granted when the student is ready.

For more information about the DCM certification requirements and process, see the Certification page.

How can I use DCM training and Certification?

DCM Training and Certification will help you to design and present group music and movement experiences for a wide range of populations. Depending on your past training, experience, profession, and other qualifications, you can use DCM in education, therapy, wellness, recreation, training, spirituality, and other fields.

DCM combines features from Music Education, Orff-Schulwerk, Music Therapy, Improvisation, Group Drumming, Facilitation, and Spirituality. It will help you create your own programs that meet the needs of your clients.

Some applications of the DCM approach include:

  • Group Drumming for Stress Reduction
  • Group Music for Spirituality
  • Interactive Drumming within Team Building
  • Group Drumming within Music Education
  • Group Movement for Physical Fitness
  • Community Music for Recreation
  • Clinical Improvisation within Music Therapy

The applications are virtually endless.

Are there any courses offered outside of the US?

Yes!, but not on a regular schedule. Because we are grass-roots (not driven by corporate powers) our training schedule changes from year-to-year as our friends outside of the US are able to host DCM courses. As more group music providers seek additional training, we expect to see more courses emerge outside of the US. We get a lot of requests for DCM courses in Canada, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, and the Arab Nations. If you, or anyone you work with, hosts workshops, let us know and we will be happy to work with you to bring DCM to your community.