HOUSTON – Music is a beautiful thing, but did you know it also has the power to heal? Many have been able to find strength through song to overcome struggles with anxiety, depression and even addiction. Rhythm of Life Drumming LLC founder Kim Comer discovered a way to use her talents for drumming to fight her demons and help others along the way.
“I was taking care of my mom who had dementia and found myself in some very difficult times and needed to reach out and do something different,” said Comer. “So, I went to this drum circle, and I found healing there.”
This wasn’t Comer’s first experience with drums, nor was it the first time her mother helped guide her on this musical path.
“What [first] interested me was my mom working at Waltrip [High School]. We were able to go to the football games on Friday nights, and it was just the greatest thing to be able to hear that drumline,” said Comer.
Comer’s fascination with the drumline soon became a passion. She tapped beats and practiced religiously until she was able to try out for her junior high band. When applying for the drumline, Comer was met with an unforeseen obstacle.
“When I got to junior high school, I had an opportunity to get in the band, and I really wanted to play the drums, but girls didn’t play drums. So, they made it very difficult for me to play the drums there,” said Comer.
By her third year in junior high, and after much persistence, Comer was finally given the opportunity to audition for the drumline.
“I was finally able to try out for drums and get the chair, stay on the first chair and make the guys mad,” said Comer. “And now, drums have turned into something beautiful for me in my life today.”
In adulthood, Comer moved to the Pacific Northwest, but later returned to Houston to care for her ailing mother. During this time, Comer was also struggling with addiction.
“I’ve been in recovery. Since 2013 I’ve been sober. I remembered when I first made that decision back in 2008 that I would not ever turn down a challenge and that I would work through my fears no matter what,” said Comer.
So, when a friend challenged her to start her own drum circle, Comer had no choice but to take it on.
“I went home, created an event page and before I knew it, a lot of people were interested,” said Comer. “I had 55 people at my first circle, and I had no idea what I was doing. It turned into a career for me from there.”
Comer started her drum circle named Sunday Drum Jam in the Park in 2015. The group that began with 55 people has since grown to 1,300 active members. She has also partnered with various rehab centers to help other in recovery find healing through music.
Though Comer is moving back to the Pacific Northwest this month, she is happy to say Sunday Drum Jam in the Park will continue without her.
“It will continue. I’m turning it over to another facilitator who will take it, and the group will continue,” said Comer.
The group currently meets on the second Sunday of every month. Comer’s final session with the group will be Sunday, January 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Levy Park. The group is free to join and beginners are welcome. Members are encouraged to bring their own drums or just come for the good vibes.