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Circles of Rhythm Drum Circles Message Board › Article in today's Calgary Herald (Apr 29 2010)

Article in today's Calgary Herald (Apr 29 2010)

A former member
Post #: 4
Enjoy this article, it is for real, drumming is good medicine for anyone, of any age!

Vibrations of life


Ivy Keen gets energized while taking part in the Circles of Rhythm drumming circle at the Bow Waters Canoe Club.
Photograph by: Ted Rhodes, Calgary Herald, For The Calgary Herald

- - Drum circles are held at Bow Waters Canoe Club every Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. and at the Ranchlands Community Centre every other Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. All sessions are drop-in, no registration is required. No experience is necessary and drums are provided. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children (must be 10 or older).

- - For more information, visit circlesofrhythm.comor call 403-253-2023.


Nearly five years ago, Ivy Keen broke her hip, but that was the least of her ailments. Rheumatoid arthritis, a bad knee and depression left her almost bedridden and 100 pounds overweight.

But today, the 84-year-old grandmother of five and great-grandmother of 12 is more busy and spirited than many people half her age. She credits much of it to her weekly participation in a community drum circle during the past 10 months, which has helped her heal from the inside out.

"If you're not happy, you won't heal," says Keen, who has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for more than 25 years.

Calgary massage therapist Martin Baxter has been working with Keen for the past three years. He says when their friendship first began, Keen could barely walk, and she was very emotionally vulnerable.

When he first introduced the idea of drumming, which he had occasionally done during his travels, he says Keen was resistant, but tapping into her love for movement and music was the key.

"Once she was there, she went into her own place, finding her rhythm," he says. "She could feel that love, the community just loving her, and she drew it all in."

Keen has a long-standing relationship with music therapy. In her late 40s and 50s, Keen was a swimming, synchronized swimming and water fitness instructor.

"I always used music to help communicate with people and, in turn, have people energize their bodies through the water," she says.

Now, the music -- and the movement -- is giving back.

"The drum circle is about meditation and release, and forgiveness. I've had a hard life, and I think that's why it's helped me so much."

"Ivy has become a revered and respected senior member of the community," says Judy Atkinson, founder of the local community drum circle organization, Circles of Rhythm.

"Being part of a group has affected her very deeply. I've noticed her energy level is so much higher, as is her feeling of self-worth."

Keen is now trying to get a smaller group of women together at her home to have a smaller version of a drum circle. She said drumming has helped her to release the past and be in the moment. "Music is my life -- it's me," she says.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald


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