Naples Senior Center members move to beat of a drum
Naples Daily News
The 45-minute drum circle sessions began earlier this year as an experiment to see if it held any appeal to members. The center offers 40 different programs each week to keep seniors engaged and active.
Scheduled initially for once a month, attendance at the drum circle quickly mushroomed. The center’s purchase of eight drums didn’t suffice.
Now drum circle is twice a month. The center has purchased a dozen drums and counting.
“It helps everybody. With drums, you really don’t have to know a lot about music. In a group, it is so loud if you make a mistake, nobody knows.”
“You feel good when you are done,” he said.
“This epitomizes the purpose of Naples Senior Center,” she said. “We are all about connecting, energizing and supporting all who participate in our programs. And, when you see the smiles on the faces of our drummers, you know we are also all about having a good time, too.”
Sernovitz started a recent session with some warm up drumming before picking up the tempo. Most of the participants in a recent session were women, except for Art Sturm, 86. He started coming to drum circle three months ago.
“It kind of relaxes me,” Sturm said, adding that he likes it when Sernovitz picks up the pace.
Drum circle events are plentiful in Southwest Florida, with gatherings held in Cambier Park in Naples, at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs and in Centennial Park in Fort Myers, according to a public Facebook page, Fort Myers Drum Circle.
The Naples center purchased djembe drums, which hail from West Africa. The drum traditionally is carved from a single piece of African hardwood with animal skin as the drumhead, according to a detailed history on the website, drumconnection.com, and is affiliated with a drum circle program in Boston.
Numerous websites refer to health benefits of drum circles as a way to address stress, provide a sense of belonging and a connection to others. Drumming is a way to decrease anxiety and depression, and can improve motor skills and energy.
For Terry Butts, 89, the drum circle at the senior center doesn’t help with her essential tremor, a neurological condition that causes involuntary shaking, but it makes her feel good.
“I love it,” she said. “I like the rhythm. I like the camaraderie.”
The drum circle helps her forget that she’s got essential tremor.
Naples Senior Center is located at 5025 Castello Drive.