Kentwood Park residents are turning to YouTube for much-loved drumming circle program

The program, which is normally led at the home by Ruth Dwight, is a resident favourite

For two years, Ruth Dwight has led a much-loved drumming circle program at Kentwood Park, but since she cannot enter the long-term care homes she works with because of restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruth is bringing the program to the Prince Edward County Public Library’s YouTube channel.

Long-term-care home residents – or anyone else interested in learning drumming techniques – can now follow Ruth while watching from their computer.

As part of the program Ruth leads at Kentwood Park and other long-term care homes in Prince Edward County, residents have a chance to experiment with a variety of percussion instruments, from hand-held drums to bongos.

But since she cannot visit Kentwood Park at the moment, Ruth has crafted drums out of coffee cans for residents to use. She’s also made drumsticks by adding sponge balls to the ends of wooden dowels.

Ruth has also taken plastic hollow Easter eggs and filled them with popcorn kernels to fashion an instrument that creates a sound similar to maracas.

Residents have been following Ruth’s videos since August and drumming along to her rhythms. They’ve been watching Ruth on Kentwood Park’s large TV and through an iPad outdoors when the weather has permitted.

Since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization in March, Kentwood Park and other long-term care homes have been restricted from having large-group indoor programming, and regular entertainers have not been able to perform indoors.

The videos of Ruth leading drumming programs are filling a much-needed gap for Kentwood Park residents, says Lisa Mills, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

“She’s just amazing; the residents just love this, I mean, if you want to talk about being engaged, this has been a really big thing,” Lisa says.

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