Drum Circle Activity for the Elderly

Drum Circle Activity for the Elderly

Found In: Activities Articles Music

A Drum Circle, as the name suggests, is a circle of people, each with a drum or another percussion instrument and one facilitator.

A Drum Circle, as the name suggests, is a circle of people, each with a drum or another percussion instrument and one facilitator.

Most clients can drum even if they have never drummed before. We instinctively possess a sense of rhythm: we can tap our feet, our hearts beat, we use a rhythm to walk, we dance to a rhythm. The facilitator will guide the group to discover the rhythm that’s already within them.

In this article we cover:

  • Benefits of a Drum Circle
  • What you need to start a Drum Circle
  • How to Facilitate a Drum Circle
  • Drum Circle Activity Plan
  • Drum Patterns - Beats, Vocal, Sentences

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jane 20th Jun 2017
Hi Tess,
It's a wonderful idea; we have now started our drum circle. Like most of us the cost of
drums is way over the top so we decided to use empty large coffee tins with
the plastic top also Pringles crisps containers which also have the plastic top. These are
great for the ladies just to tap. They have decorated them themselves with ordinary gift
or crepe paper, what ever is available. Everyone has a great deal of fun and they
decided they liked to drum to 'she wears red feathers' and one or two other songs. The
drum sticks we made out of wooden batons and chop sticks, infact anything available at
the time. We dress up, ladies with beautiful head dresses and the men with a fez. Very
cheap from Amazon. Many many thanks for this wonderful idea.
Rebecca 25th Apr 2017
Hi everyone,

I apolgoize for the late response. We used laundry baskets for the dollar store, but a carboard box would also work if you have them around your building!
Rebecca 25th Apr 2017
I apologize for the late response, Tess! We use laundry baskets that we bought from the dollar store. You could also you smaller cardboard boxes as a base if you have them around your building. It has worked out great!! Please let me know if you have additonal questions.
Tess 29th Apr 2017
What a great idea, Rebecca! We have a professional drum circle facilitator coming in to lead a drum circle later this month- I'll be paying attention to how the residents respond, and if they like it, I'll approach my director to see if we could budget for some exercise balls and baskets to hold our own mini drum circles! I've been wanting to start one since I started here, but we don't have any drums, and they can be expensive!
Rebecca 12th Apr 2017
Another easy option to consider for this activity is using exercise balls. We have a Certified Drum Instructor who brings exercise balls and drumsticks for the clients to beat to the rhythm of the music. Sessions focus on motor skills, attention, and socialization as the clients enjoy singing to the music as well. We have received many compliments from staff and clients about the activity.
Tess 12th Apr 2017
Rebecca- how do the exercise balls stay in place? I'm a music therapist just hired on as an activities assistant, and my supervisor is dying for me to conduct a drum circle, but we have zero drums and a limited budget- I'm wondering if the exercise balls would be a good option for us!
Talita 12th Apr 2017
Wow Rebecca, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
Kay 12th Apr 2017
Brilliant idea.:)
Talita 12th Apr 2017
Thanks Kay!
Lynne 11th Apr 2017
I have looking for something on this subject for sometime. Looks very good particularly for some of our younger onset members.
Talita 12th Apr 2017
Thanks for your feedback Lynne! Love to hear how it goes.
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