Beating out a rhythm

Family Drum Circle slated for Friday at the public library

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ On Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Marshalltown Public Library, youngsters and their guardians are invited to participate in a free, Family Drum Circle event, led by musician/artist Linda Harvey. She will bring around 70 percussion instruments for participants to use, and people are welcome to bring their own. Here, Harvey drums along with a young onlooker, who got a sneak peak of what to expect.

Music is the universal language, and on Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Marshalltown Public Library, youngsters and their guardians are invited to participate in a free, Family Drum Circle event, led by musician/artist Linda Harvey.

“The vibration of the drum is very healing, and synchronizes your heart and helps with circulation, and has mental health benefits,” Harvey said. “Drumming provides kids with lots of skills, like communication, listening, rhythm, counting and sometimes spelling, when we use words to keep rhythm.”

She will bring around 70 percussion instruments for participants to use, and people are welcome to bring their own.

“We want to encourage people from different ethnicities to come,” she added. “Everyone is welcome.”

Basic drumming etiquette will be demonstrated, with the rest of the hour-long sessions open to exploring the drums.

Harvey, who has played the drums for 20 years, is schooled in West African drumming and will bring along her djembe (a rope-tuned, skin covered goblet drum) played with bare hands. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education, and has spent years as an educator, in addition to working as an artist for such entities as Disney, Nickelodeon and Coca-Cola. She has resided in Marshalltown for around three years, and had previously lived in the area.

“I’ve taught over 8,000 people how to play the drums, when you include my work with the Girl Scouts of America,” she said. “I’ve played at the Cleveland Zoo and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

Families with children of all ages are welcome to attend, but youngsters coming alone must be at least eight years old.

“This event will help us gauge if there is an interest in ongoing drumming programs at the library; we do have some additional ones scheduled for the summer,” said Youth Services Librarian Joa LaVille.

Harvey said she hopes to continue to offer public drum programs, and also branch out specifically to senior citizens, people with intellectual disabilities and do summer camp activities.

The program is free and does not require registration. As the 6 p.m. session is an after-hours program, the main library will be unavailable during that time.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com