A page for people who want to send us a testimonial about the Drumming Meditation workshops, the Helmtone Drumming workshops and the other drum therapy processes that we are about.


 These are unedited testimonials:

“I am a Helmtone Certified Drum Therapist, practicing Helmtone drum protocols through weekly small group meetings in Long Island, New York. I was not always a hand drummer. That is, I began drumming after I retired from a 30 year career as a Licensed Master Social Worker in New York City. I began by taking West African and Latin drum classes and playing in circles across Long Island. But when I found Buddy Helms’ books, “Way of the Drum” and “Let the Goddess Dance,” I began to really learn to play. These books have become a foundation for me to be set free from the pressure of keeping up with the rigorous, yet beautiful, Latin and African beats. In circles where these beats are played, it is often that people play fast and want to be heard without truly listening to one another. I love world beat music- don’t get me wrong- but now, I have a firm foundation of where and how to put my own flavor into the mix without having to be repetitive and rigid in my playing. Buddy’s technique for hand drumming is amazing, as he sets his music to a combination of world beat and American styles. As a new drummer, it was very easy for me to follow along with the included CD’s. I found myself engaged and playing the entire CDs. The more you play along, the more you hear the intricacies he has built into the songs- it’s genius. I became a much stronger player and therefore had much more confidence. I began to play in more groups, and I was invited to play at local events with other musicians. It was then that I reached out to Buddy for lessons online. The lessons have proven to be invaluable in my growth as a musician, and in my personal growth as well. I learned the Helmtone protocols directly from Buddy and the lessons have also been my own therapy. This is the therapy I had been seeking out as a Social Worker all those years. Helmtone Drum Therapy is powerful because it uses a combination of verbal expression and healing drum rhythms. It is fun and easy to do, and my group members tell me it is a valuable tool for them as well. I am honored to call myself a student of Russell Buddy Helm, and grateful to have learned his Helmtone Protocols.”

Louise Isgro-Ibrahim, LMSW Helmtone Certified Drum Therapist


“Awesome session again with two kids and Henry’s power song! Listening to the song made the one child talk about his birth mother and how she didn’t want him. At the end of the song, the autistic girl with him, who had been listening to his story with a very concerned look on her face, sang “A….. is a good person.”

“”Back by popular demand for a fifth Heartland appearance is Russell Buddy Helm. He has done it all in the realms of music, film, and print. With vast experience as a professional musician and producer, Buddy now emphasizes the spiritual. He teaches drumming meditation in California and around the country. His continuing development of the healing aspects of rhythm have brought health and joy to many around the world. He conducts drum healing seminars around the country. His books include: Drumming the Spirit to Life and Way of the Drum. His current CDs include: Protection Drum Prayers, Martial Arts Drumming with Dan Inosanto, and Let the Goddess Dance. Buddy merges his experiences as a professional musician with a deep desire to heal through rhythm. Part drum lesson, part meditation, part spiritual journey, Buddy’s workshops are perennially well attended and impactful, and definitely not to be missed. ” Heartland Spiritual Alliance brochure  2014. Lawrence, Kansas


Details of the Recommendation: “I’ve known Buddy for several years. We first met at a hand drumming workshop he hosted. I have attended his workshops on numerous occasions and have always found him to be a kind and generous person with a wealth of drumming/musical knowledge. I have learned a lot from him about both drumming and life. He’s also a superb drum therapist. Through the drum, he coaxes out those emotional knots we all have in a supportive and patient way. I’m honored to consider him a friend. If you get the chance to attend one of his workshops, run, don’t walk. Meantime, read his books!”

At that last session, Buddy, I showed up feeling really miserable. Then I smacked my poor bare toe against a hard metal chair leg not once but thrice. It’s still swollen. I thought about going home, but these sessions are so important, I just stuck it out. I felt awful, drumming nothing but the downbeat, unable to even smile.

But it finally got to me. I ended up being so in the groove at that stand-up drum that I had to go into the foyer for just a minute or two and
I wish you could be here once a month, Buddy!

….I am still going to write you my healing story. Emotionally, I have been good since that day at … Physically, I have had some major problems, but hopefully I am near some answers. If I had not had that day with you, the physical illness probably would have done me in. It has been a stretch just to keep going… You touched something in me that day that had hurt for many, many years and set it free.



Do you think that rhythm can be taught to someone with virtually no ‘ear’ for it? I come from a musical family so I just got lucky that way, and can help if that’s what it takes, but while i can teach salsa steps all day, I don’t know how to teach such a basic idea as ‘listen and move to the beat’.

There’s no hurry on this, but I have immense respect for you as a gentle and effective teacher, and I know you have run into this sort of thing. How much potential for improvement is there in someone with no natural ear, and how, if at all, can I help him?

Thank you, both for your time, and for being you.


Hi Buddy,
My name is G …. I am from Australia. I was given your book by a lady i work with in the field of working with disadvantaged young people. I was telling her that i was doing Djembe drumming with young people and how powerful it was. I must say your book is amazing.
I was telling a friend about it. He said that he started drumming because of your drumming. He said that grove just captivated him. It was your drumming with Tim Buckley. I was jamming with my friend who seriously needed a jam and to go “Back to thë Well”
I run some drumming groups as well i have done drumming with kids in Cambodia and Vietnem. They were transformed. It is a small price to pay for the contribution you can make. Being poor that is and being an artist/muso.
I wish i could attend a workshop. Do you ever travel to Australia? This country seriously needs to do some Media Fasting and get back to earth.
Once agian your book is inspirational.
Best wishes


Hi Buddy,
Thank you for coming to ….. …. a couple of weeks ago.  I was really glad to be there.
In less than 24 hours of leaving your session I had an amazing breakthrough.
The issue –  In short  – I recently became a chaplain at ……  However, I found I had a strong resistance to making the 25 phone calls each month which is part of the commitment.  I convinced myself that because my professional life keeps me on the phone sooo much that there was no way I could pick up the phone on my personal time.  It was embarrassing to me and was feeling guilty so I stopped going to church and was about to resign as a chaplain.
Monday morning I was in my prayer chair with my books and journal and was meditating it became so clear to me that I was not revealing the truth of who I really am.  And where was all this resistance coming from?   I could finally observe and hear me – what I was saying.   That’s not me.  I filled up with such joy at releasing the resistance. Every time I share this story I fill up with joy again.  Actually I find that calling congregants to pray with them brings me a lot of peace
February of this year we did a drumming session at your place in ……  That was the first time I ever had a drum in my hands.
Also I had an amazing breakthrough during and less than 24 hrs after that session.  The awareness that came through that I had a negative attitude about a co-worker that recently came to work at the company.  Let me tell you, I found so much fault in this person both professionally and personally. And in my mind I was right.   After drumming, I was able to hear myself and said woe what are you doing – that’s not you, why are you doing that.  I don’t want to be that person.  Now she looks to me as a mentor and I am glad to support and help her learn her job.
Both of these breakthroughs brought an awareness of some emotional and personality issues that sure don’t serve me.  Each time I let in a little more joy and freedom.  I would like to do more work so let me know when you will be back this way.


Rose wrote: “I love your smile and the way you teach drumming is so much fun and feels really amazing!”


Hey Buddy…
All I can say at this time is thank God for the drum and thank you for your protocols (and what training / insights I’ve received from you)
I feel like I’ve fallen into a deep dark hole without a ladder…. clawing my way back up, bit by bit, my only salvation has been using the drum
and protocols (as much as I can) to keep me strong, to keep my faith, and to not loose myself in this quagmire of BS I seem to be surrounded by for the last few weeks.



I truly enjoyed our talk after your workshop at …  this year and I wanted you to know that the dream I related to you has not returned since we talked and for that I owe you an eternal debt.


“today Buddy Helm like no one ever before revealed tools inside of me that were and will always still too be inside of me to allay me by helping me to stop Festering over pain on the inside of me”


man i got a story for you:)
[01/08/11] j: i was saved by drumming
i was victim of a hit and run
like a week ago
lost my automobile
and left with nothing
i started drumming the next day
: just to reassure myself i will make it through this
soon as i ended the drumming with thank you the phone rang
and it was the owner of the car
he admitted everything and his insurance paid my loss
I just almost couldn”t beleive it
then i rememberd what you had said about your experience
when you were having tuff times
I just want thank you for showing me the understanding of this


a thousand blessings on your head.
i really needed the groove.  i was in so much pain.   and the groove gave me gratitude.
and a… seemed happy afterwards.  and relaxed.
thank you.  you are a bright and shining diamond.



In 1958 I took a very hard fall onto my left hip during  basketball
practice.  I was carried to the training room examined, whirl pooled, medicated,
and iced, and later x-rayed.  Two days later I played a complete basketball
game.  40 years later the hip started to be very painful after long runs or
walking 18 holes of golf.  I could not stay seated for long periods, hip pain
would wake me at night, and I could not lay on my left side.  The constant use of anti-inflammatories and rest kept me functioning. Yesterday,while working with
our blue light energy I was moving along the profiles of my body as you led
us. My hands moved over my  head, eyes, throat, chest, first chakra and down.
When my left hand past near my left hip I felt light thump cover the palm of my
left hand and only my left hand. In reflection, it seemed as if a palm size area
of my hip formed a bubble that popped up, hit my hand, and disappeared. This, of course, registered, but I immediately became concerned that I was about to hit me head on my drum as I bent to touch the earth. Last night I slept pain free This morning I rolled onto my left side for a good-morning kiss and did not scream.  I have just returned from the golf course and I am still without pain and that feels very very strange ofter all these years.  Keep up the good work.


I spoke at the W…. conference, and I tell you what, my public speaking has been FOREVER changed by your work. I don’t know what happens, but I get into a great rhythm and it just moves. Everyone told me my energy is big when I speak.
Thank you for your many contributions to my life and wellbeing.



One of the greatest gifts I’ve discovered through experiencing a life-threatening disease is working with Buddy Helm.  The more I relax, release, and find my essential self with the help of Buddy’s awareness, guidance, and gentle teaching, the happier and healthier I am becoming.  Call it “finding my groove.”  For me, this work is transforming my relationship with Life and with myself.  Thank you Buddy.  More to follow!RT



The dolphin cruise last Thursday was a great experience for both of us. We found the drum healing protocols fascinating. We are still processing the book and CD you gave us. I do know I felt a change in my body when I went to sleep that evening.

Thanks and I hope we stay in touch,


ASM Santa Monica

When I walked into Seasons on Montana Ave. a little over a month ago – I felt the magic and sanctity of being in a holy place – it was a little incongruous to see the whimsical interspersed with the spiritual. African drums, wind chimes, colorful beaded curtains, jewelry; unique pieces of  hand painted, sculpted and carved art works and beatific Buddhas.

Intrigued by the sound Buddy was getting from his drum – that seemed to come about so effortlessly – the familiar fear and racing heart rose up in me as  I realized I was about to speak my dreaded secret – “Yeah, but I have no rhythm.”Within 5 minutes Buddy had me drumming and proved to me not only did I have rhythm but I have “my own rhythm” and it’s always been there inside me waiting to be awakened in a safe, non judgmental place where I can explore my own groove.

Since joining Buddy’s drum circle twice a week I have experienced a real change, after years of instilled negative beliefs, pessimism, pervasive, self defeating, thoughts – I feel like they have melted away. I sleep better and have more peaceful moments, hours, and days. I react to other people and situations with a calm assurance  that was not part of my previous way of being.  Road rage –gone. Irritability – almost gone. Happier and with more self confidence and a brighter outlook.  I can be grateful now when I’m alone with my thoughts.

Thanks Buddy, I Owe You A World Of Gratitude,  A..




“This is S…. from last night’s class. Here is my email.

I’m kind of speechless yet at the same time have so much to say about
your class.

I feel light years past where I was the day before..”

Thank you, S….


“Hi Buddy,

I have an interest in the certification program.. I do not have much experience drumming. The first time I ever participated in a group was the time you were at U…… It was a great experience and I was particularly impressed with the therapeutic value. Actually, I loved it and want to be a part of it to help heal our world.

Look forward to seeing you in April!



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