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 Elderly feel “alive” and “happy” after drumming circle

Elderly feel “alive” and “happy” after drumming circle

By 2nd May, 2023 Press Releases No Comments

THE SOUND of djembes, darbukas and shakers has been reverberating through a Ripon care home – as residents take part in drumming therapy.

The sessions have taken place at Sycamore Hall Care Home, on Kearsley Road, led by facilitator Andy Bates, from the Hazelsong Theatre group.

As well as being a fun, physical activity, residents have also professed to feeling “alive” and “happy” after taking part in the drumming circle.

Joyce Mortimer, 99, was one of those who took part. She said: “The drumming makes me feel alive again.”

Jean Barker, 71, said: “I feel happy when I’m drumming.”

June Carling, 86, said: “I love the sound of music. I’ve always enjoyed playing music.”

Richard Colley, 80, said: “It makes me feel alive and I enjoy making the loud noise.”

Andy, who is co-artistic director for the Hazelsong Theatre group, brought the instruments for residents to play and led them through a paradiddle – a basic drumming pattern.

He said: “We drummed with the right hand, then with the left, then both alternating together. Those with a beater struck skins to the rhythm, those with a shaker shook a rattling hiss from their instrument.

“Then we played, we really played. We became really quiet, whisperingly so, curled like conspirators and grinning over our drums. Then we reared up and brought thunder to the room; rolling, glorious thunder that brought staff to stare in wonder through the glass.

“A resident, Mr H. said to me “It’s been a great pleasure and a privilege to be here.” In truth, the privilege was with me. I huge, humbling privilege. I am humbled to the core of my being by this.”

Tessa Danby, activities coordinator at Sycamore Hall Care Home, said: “It is simply amazing listening to the residents drumming. They are all so talented.

“The difference it makes to them is astounding. They really do come alive in the drumming circle. It’s a pleasure to be able to enable them to do this.

“We’re planning to run further sessions with Andy, as it’s been such a success. The residents can’t wait until their next drumming circle.”

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