Empowering adults with learning difficulties through the beat of an African drum

Ali Avery, owner of Wallsend-based holistic therapy centre Avery’s Angels, is working with residents at Siena Court in North Shields to provide African drumming sessions.

The 38-year-old, who has used drums as part of her reiki healing for the past seven years, is now providing group drumming workshops with a giant African Dgembe drum for people with a range of learning difficulties.

Through the drum, Ali is helping people who have difficulties communicating to find their own voice and is working closely with the residents at Siena Court – a centre providing independent supported living and specialist day care services for adults with learning difficulties, mental health issues and complex needs.

Ali said: “I’ve been using the drum as part of reiki for a number of years and it is amazing the power that the beat of the drum can bring to people.

“It is well known to remove stresses and leave people more energised but I’ve now discovered that using it as a group therapy makes it even more powerful.

“The drum helps people to find their voice; I work with people unable to communicate effectively yet during the drumming sessions they not only find their voice but are filled with confidence to share their stories with others.

“We are able to break down the syllables of words to the individual drum beat and create original music from only a handful of words.

“The residents at Siena Court have responded really well to the sessions and we are attracting more and more people each time we hold them. At the end of the 45 minutes, there is a real sense of joy and empowerment in the room.”

Avery’s Angels is working with a growing number of charities and care providers around the region to provide African drumming sessions as well as more traditional holistic therapies including groups for children from Austim Northumberland.

Teresa Duchett, Director at Siena Court, added: “We are always looking for new ways to inspire our clients and this has proved to be very popular.”

This item was first featured via News Guardian.

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