Name: Kay Broberg
Category: World Percussion
Location: Marquette, Michigan, United States
Kay leads Fern, Ruthie (the 98 year old who adds rapping vocals), Sheila, Margaret, Janice, Joanne and Judy S. on a rhythmic journey into wonderland. This video contains segments abstracted from a twenty minute non-stop jam session that began as a mere warm-up. It explores a number of different rhythmic structures through metric modulation lead by the power, spirit and energy of Kay. Kay is the master drummer of the group – in the middle, purple turtleneck; you’ll know which one I mean! With sticks in her hands, Kay leads a groove and attacks that drum with her entire body, heart and soul. Kay will often stop for a moment’s breath, feel her heart beat, speak about channeling her Zulu African ancestors, make us all laugh and then begin a new groove.
These girl drummers are participants of Lake Superior Hospice’s Adult Day Services (ADS) ) which provides participants who have Alzheimer’s disease or other memory loss a safe environment, and opportunities to participate in fun and engaging activities with their own community. At the same time, their caregivers have 3 days a week to work, to rest, and to care for themselves. This group has been drumming bi-monthly since October of 2016.
Ranging in age from 59- 98 years young, none of these women were drummers in their earlier years or have any real musical training. Except Janice who was an elementary school music teacher and private piano teacher many years ago but she is unable to communicate those stories with us in words. She closes her eyes and hears things I can only imagine, she communicates with us all through the music of the drum. The look in her eyes, the smile on her face, her ears wide open listening – listening and connecting once again to the past.
We decided to enter Hit Like A Girl not because we thought we would win a competition, but to have a common goal, to share something great with the world and to remind everyone that no matter what age, we can all Hit Like A Girl! We especially need drumming at the time in life when we struggle with the common language, when words are no longer adequate, they slip our minds, and often people stop listening. What doesn’t slip is the heartbeat of each and every person, the beat that keeps us alive. How do we nourish this heartbeat when we can’t use words to communicate, when our memory falters? How do the people who love and care about us help us to share it with the world again? Music – when words fail, the music speaks.
The music of our elders speaks in ways no one can possibly imagine. So much knowledge, wisdom and most importantly love emanate from this group of girl drummers. Drumming unlocks a world of communication – this drumming is an interpretation of the rhythm that moves through our body, keeping us alive, giving us culture, and simply making us human. The rhythm of the heart.
Thanks for letting us share!