News Flash

Town News and Updates

Posted on: June 1, 2021

The Power Of Percussion

DSC03218

Instructor Jessica Shea gets a group at the Middletown Senior Center moving and grooving using the power of drumming.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 712-2221 or msheley@middletownri.com

 

THE POWER OF PERCUSSION

 

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (JUNE 1, 2021)  For most people, a drum circle is something you might see at a folk concert or a local park, not the Middletown Senior Center.

 

But Jessica Shea is changing that. Recently, Shea used the power of percussion to get more than a dozen drummers moving and grooving to tunes from Elvis to pop sensation Bruno Mars as part of a new program at the Senior Center.


With each participant armed with a pair of drumsticks, an overturned blue recycling bin and a metal folding chair to sit, the group sounded tight after a couple songs, with smiles and laugher throughout.

 

“I heard about it and I figured I’d give it a try,” local resident Betsy Brick said. “I like that it’s exercise and an upper body workout, but it doesn’t seem like exercise. After COVID, I want to get in better shape and this is one way to do that.”

 

The program is one of more than two dozen offered regularly at the Senior Center located at 650 Green End Ave. Shea’s class known as “Drums Alive” is held every Friday at 11 a.m. in the Main Hall. For a complete listing of programs, visit https://mdl.town/SeniorCenterPrograms online.

 

Director Arleen Kaull said it’s nice to have the Senior Center reopened after it was closed for more than a year due to COVID-19. Kaull and her second in command Chris Johnson kept extremely busy during that period, delivering free brown bag lunches to more than 30 residents across the community in need of sustenance and company during the pandemic.

 

As the Senior Center got ready to open its doors again, Kaull said she and Johnson agreed it was important to offer a mix of familiar classes like computer lab with something new and fresh to the roster.

 

Asking around, Kaull said Shea came with rave reviews for her work at the Middletown YMCA along with the senior centers in Bristol, Portsmouth and Tiverton. From Day 1, Kaull said the class has been a blockbuster.

 

“To see what she does and how much everyone is enjoying themselves, feeling young again, that’s the best,” Kaull said. “It’s so important to get this population out and about and having a good time and Jess certainly does that with her class.”

 

For Shea, a Portsmouth resident, it just feels right to help get people moving.

 

“I don’t care who you are or what age you are, movement is so important,” Shea said. “Drumming is good for your cognitive function, you get to use a full range of your motor skills and that doesn’t even include the social interaction you’re getting here. That’s good for your spirit and your soul, especially with what we just came out of.”

 

On one recent Friday, Shea opened the hour-long class by introducing herself and explaining first and foremost, she wanted everyone to focus on fun.

 

Switching on a standard from Elvis oozing out of a large black portable JBL speaker, Shea described and demonstrated what she was looking for from each drummer, hammering away on the recycling bin with the drumsticks.

 

Tunes like “Wipe Out,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Happy,” “Dancing Queen” and “We Will Rock You” from Queen got participants drumming, tapping their feet and even dancing on more than one occasion.

 

By the time the 60 minutes were up, the group sounded as cohesive as the drum corps of the University of Southern California march band.

 

“It was so much fun,” said Carol Perry, a 1965 graduate of Middletown High who now lives in Portsmouth. “I thought it was absolutely wonderful like all the programs they offer here. I can’t wait to come back for more.”

 

“I’ve done other classes with Jess. She’s the best,” said Shirley Lally, a Portsmouth resident best known for her work monitoring the piping plovers at Second Beach. “It was great fun. To hear some of those songs brought back memories and I definitely feel like I got a good workout.”

 

####


DSC02986

DSC03084


DSC02783


DSC02791

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Town News and Updates

Flag Day-2

Take Time Out Today To Mark Flag Day

Posted on: June 14, 2021
Middletown Police Department

Middletown Police Here To Help

Posted on: June 11, 2021
190930 BN-SafetyPoster1 (dragged)

If You Bike, Please Wear A Helmet

Posted on: June 10, 2021
Be Ready For A Hurricane-2 2

Get Ready With A "Go Bag"

Posted on: June 8, 2021
Help Make COVID-19 History!-2

Don't Wait! Vaccinate!

Posted on: June 7, 2021
Stay Safe Vaccinate-2

Stay Safe - Vaccinate

Posted on: June 4, 2021
IMG_6915

Getting Ready For Summer

Posted on: May 28, 2021
DSC01756

An Hour At Middletown High

Posted on: May 28, 2021
DSC00613

"Where Am I?" Winner

Posted on: May 27, 2021
Boat Ramp-3

Third Beach Boat Ramp Reopened

Posted on: May 26, 2021
DSC01295

Surfcasting At Sachuest

Posted on: May 26, 2021
1

Don't Be Too Late! Vaccinate!

Posted on: May 25, 2021
DSC02056

Summer Is On The Way

Posted on: May 25, 2021
DSC00613

Where Am I?

Posted on: May 25, 2021
DSC00907

Shorebirds At Sachuest

Posted on: May 24, 2021
Third Beach Boat Ramp-2

Third Beach Boat Ramp Repairs

Posted on: May 19, 2021
Harbormaster-2

Harbormaster Wanted

Posted on: May 18, 2021
Its not too late

It's Not Too Late

Posted on: May 17, 2021
DSC01124

Preserving Paradise

Posted on: May 17, 2021
Senior Center Reopening-2

Middletown Senior Center Reopens

Posted on: May 17, 2021
BandC

Volunteers Needed

Posted on: May 13, 2021
Walking-2

Walk Safely

Posted on: May 12, 2021
Vaccinate!-2

Vaccinate!

Posted on: May 11, 2021
Service Suspended

Simple Recycling Service Suspended

Posted on: May 11, 2021
COVID 5721-4

Remember To Vaccinate

Posted on: May 7, 2021
Budget Videos-2

More Budget Videos Live

Posted on: May 6, 2021
Thanks To Our Community Partners-2

Thanks To Our Community Partners

Posted on: May 5, 2021
DSC08050

Middletown Meeting Matters

Posted on: May 3, 2021
DSC00021

Cleaning Catch Basins

Posted on: April 29, 2021
DSC00127

Enjoying Dunlap-Wheeler Park

Posted on: April 29, 2021
Outdoor Burn Ban-2

Outdoor Burn Ban Starts Saturday

Posted on: April 28, 2021
IMG_6663

Senior Center Makes A Difference

Posted on: April 27, 2021
Bulletproof-2

Get Vaccinated!

Posted on: April 27, 2021
Quotable Middletown-7

COVID-19 Is Still Here. Stay Vigilant

Posted on: April 26, 2021
10

Dogs In Middletown Webpage Now Live

Posted on: April 22, 2021
Indian Avenue work-3

Indian Avenue Road Work Next Week

Posted on: April 16, 2021
Town Council Meeting-3

Town Council Meets Monday, April 19

Posted on: April 16, 2021
Job Posting-4

Public Works Is Hiring

Posted on: April 15, 2021
woodsy-2

Give A Hoot! Don't Pollute!

Posted on: April 15, 2021
Powers out-2

Power Is Out At The Library

Posted on: April 8, 2021
Distracted Driving-3

Put The Phone Down While Driving

Posted on: April 8, 2021
Yellow Bags-2

Pay-As-You-Throw Reminder

Posted on: April 7, 2021
Job Posting-3

Middletown Is Hiring

Posted on: April 6, 2021
DSC06333

Middletown Meeting Matters

Posted on: April 5, 2021
DSC06333

Council Sets Process To Fill Vacancy

Posted on: April 5, 2021
Butts are trash too-2

Keep It Clean, Middletown

Posted on: April 6, 2021
Yard waste-4

Yard Waste collection update

Posted on: April 5, 2021
DSC02222

Town Hall Update

Posted on: April 2, 2021
DSC07223

Revaluations Up In Middletown

Posted on: April 1, 2021

Stay vigilant and get vaccinated

Posted on: April 1, 2021
Screen Shot 2021-03-26 at 9.52.10 AM

Welcome to the New MiddletownRI.com

Posted on: March 26, 2021
SeeClickFix

Middletown Helps Live!

Posted on: April 13, 2021
Windmill in Field

Create an Account

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Stay connected!

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Keep in Touch

Posted on: November 22, 2016

Website Personalization Now Available!

Posted on: November 22, 2016