Jim Donovan’s mission is to bring the connective power of music to everyone. We tailor make every experience according to the needs and goals of your group.

Jim Donovan M.Ed., Leader of the band Sun King Warriors, Assistant Professor at Saint Francis University, is an inspirational performer and educator who believes in the power of music to bring people together. Over the past three decades, Donovan has performed thousands of concerts and learning events across the US and Europe. As a performer, Donovan writes and records with his rootsy groove-rock band Sun King Warriors. As an educator, he brings his motivating brand of open-hearted, big-energy to every event he leads- whether they be a conference keynote, corporate team building, educational training or wellness retreat.

Donovan got his start as a founding member of the 3-time platinum 90’s band Rusted Root, where he co-wrote and performed “Send Me on My Way,” a song whose unforgettable whistle has been featured in both Matilda and Ice Age. During his touring work with Rusted Root, he shared arena stages with rock legends such as Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, members of Led Zeppelin and Sting, among others.

Donovan is the author of the book “Drum Circle Leadership” and regularly offers training to organizations that teach people how to lead group music-making as a way to support wellness and social connection.


The World Drum Circle Community Music Making Experience – Music Creation. Stress Relief. Community Building. Fun.
An interactive group music making event for everyone, including beginners. Drums and percussion instruments are provided. Enjoy a high-energy, joyful experience of group drumming with Jim Donovan.

This exciting experience focuses on using creative music-making as a way for students to:

  • Authentically connect with others in person
  • Relieve stress and anxiety
  • Encourage “out-of-the-box” thinking
  • Foster unity and cohesion in large and small groups

During the World Drum Circle you will learn how to:

  • Play exciting traditional rhythms and songs from all over the world
  • Express yourself through “in-the-moment” original music creation
  • Learn drumming techniques
  • Use rhythm to relax, relieve stress and anxiety

The World Drum Circle will also connect you with ideas and concepts to help you:

  • Increase focus
  • Expand creative thinking and awareness
  • Find and refine your own voice
  • Deepen your listening skills

Even if you consider yourself “unmusical”, group drumming is an accessible entry point into the rewarding world of music creation. In the World Drum Circle, you are never expected to be perfect, or even any “good” at it. All that is required is a willingness to try.

Discover why people from all over the globe have been drumming together for thousands of years.

Drumming & Autism Training
A One Day Training for Students and Professionals Who Work with Individuals with Disabilities

Does your school have offer Occupational Therapy, Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Autism studies, Nursing or Social Work Programs? Is your organization preparing students to who work in organizations with individuals with Autism, ADD, Mental Retardation, ADHD or other disabilities? Then you might be interested to know about Drumming & Autism Training.

Drumming & Autism Training with Jim Donovan M.Ed., is a training program designed to show ASD professionals how to facilitate strategies using music and rhythm with people with ASD. These clinically proven techniques were developed and tested at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA and are designed to meet goals such as: (1) increased attention to task,  (2) non-verbal expression, (3) socialization and (4) stress reduction for individuals on the Autism spectrum and other disabilities.


Drumming & Autism training helps you to learn how to musically engage the people you work with through a variety of methods such as “Percussion Intervention” which has been shown to significantly improve their attention to task in children with Autism and increase their overall level of engagement with caregivers. Research so far has demonstrated average increases in attention to task of 189% in as little as 12 weeks.


Group music making gives people with social challenges an alternative way to communicate and be in community with others without the worry of being “good at music”. Drums and percussion are remarkably effective ways to bring people together in an enjoyable way. Drumming & Autism training offers your clients fail-proof opportunities to make music with others on their terms in a welcoming container of safety.

Stress Reduction

Drumming & Autism training infuses the natural ability of rhythm to calm the human mind and body.  Through the deliberate use of tempo, instrument choice and timbre, you can help people with ASD to release excess energy and become more calm- naturally.

I used Boomwackers for 10 minutes in class today to help reinforce the rhythm and pronunciation of vocabulary words. It went well in all of my classes, but the most notable difference was in my class with 14 IEP students (which also includes three emotional support students and one autistic student).
A few notable changes: No one asked to repeat directions, fewer incidents of side conversations during class discussion, fewer incidents of redirection, & students were attentive during whole class discussion. In this class, one student is followed by a TSS. The TSS noted that the change lasted into the next class as well. She could tell the difference in the attention-to-task of the students who had my class versus the ones that didn’t. Thanks for affording me this great experience!

Kimberly McElhattenNBCT

"Jim Donovan far exceeded our expectations. He was able to connect with staff on many levels and all of the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. We would give Jim 5 stars plus."

Jacqueline C. Miller Lycoming - Clinton County HealthChoices Director