I recently participated in perhaps the only type of talent exhibition not splashed all over reality TV. It was for residents and staff of St. Mary’s Care Center, where as John the Drummer Guy I’ve led a senior drumming circle called the “Beat Generation” for many months. We play different rhythms, some of which we invent on the spot, and come up with popular songs that go with them. About 20 drummers attend each session, some of whom can’t even move– they just like being there.
A corps of eight of my best drummers volunteered for the annual St. Mary’s Talent Show. We kicked off the proceedings with a routine that included “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Waltzing Matilda,” “Minnie the Moocher” (complete with hi-dee-his and ho-dee-hos), and the perfect finale for our Cheesehead audience, “Beer Barrel Polka.” The Beat Generation truly rose to the occasion, and never drummed better. Nobody fell asleep, dropped their instrument or even noticeably missed a beat. The audience roared its delight, my percussionists were absolutely beaming, and I was one proud Drummer Guy.
Since beginning a senior drumming circle at St. Mary’s a year ago at the suggestion of staffer Julie Puntney, I have expanded the Beat Generation to other care facilities and the result is always the same: residents typically exceed their expectations and they have a great time, regardless of their mobility level. (I stress that the two most important words in drumming are, “Have fun!”) To bring this rhythmic romp to your facility, contact firstname.lastname@example.org