Carol Richards

Describe one of your favorite magical or break-through moments that you created or experienced with the help of the Drums Alive program. 

One of my adults with diverse abilities came to my classes once a week but wouldn’t drum. After months she finally held the drumsticks with scarves attached. Then I placed a ball in front of her chair and she would occasionally drum, but wouldn’t join the group. One day I added the song Happy and guided everyone in a hand-clapping sequence. I looked over and she was walking up to the group and clapping her hands. She has been a part of the group ever since. She now dances while drumming. And recently, after 4 years, she can perform Batucada. She now listens then drums. Proof, we should never give up.

Please describe your background.

  • Professional dancer turned ballroom teacher and fitness instructor.
  • After a foot injury, I went to cosmetology school and became a licensed Aesthetician and received my certification in advanced Aromatherapy. I opened a facial salon in Virginia Beach, VA.
  • My husband took a job in Maine. After working as an artist,  teaching different types of crafts, I took a job working with children on the spectrum. A few years later I switched to working with adults.  I received state certifications as a Behavioral Specialist and PCA and two certifications in PECS.

What initially drew you into Drums Alive?

I went back into teaching group fitness and was looking for a program that anyone could do. Drums Alive fits that and more.

What makes you want to share the Drums Alive program with others?

I live in a state that is behind the times when it comes to health and wellness. It is the oldest population, per capita than any other state. I want people to move and exercise because they feel it is fun. Not because someone told them they have to.

How do you use the Drums Alive program to be of service to others in your community?

I volunteer, once a month, at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. I also volunteer through Special Olympics.

Please share your favorite West Music product and explain why you like it so much and how you use it in your Drums Alive classes.

BOOMWHACKERS! I love these. They are easier to hold for the seniors and are very versatile. Everyone enjoys them.