15:07 PM

Music Alumna Shares Rhythm of Life Through Wellness Drumming Circles

Cindy St. Cyr '18With her raven-red hair, sparkling eyes and encouraging smile, Cindy St. Cyr ’18, founder of Houston Music and Wellness Center, coaxes one of her drums—maybe a tubano or a djembe or a frame drum—as she leads a wellness drumming circle. It could be that the focus is on corporate team building. Or perhaps, this creative entrepreneur performer is working her musical wonder at a home for seniors.

“I blazed the trail in Houston for drumming with seniors,” St. Cyr said. “The benefits run the gamut from stress relief to community bonding to fun to creativity to self-expression to confidence building.”  

What drives demand for her drumming circles among a wide range of clients are the research-backed benefits. What company doesn’t want to reduce employee burnout and improve mood states? Music wellness programs like hers have also been shown to positively affect neuroendocrine-immune parameters.

St. Cyr’s Road to Drumming

Drumming circles evolved from St. Cyr’s love of music. She’s a knockout jazz vocalist. 

“I started singing professionally when I was a teenager,” she recalls. “Some of my favorite work took place at senior homes where I loved sharing the music of their eras—jazz, big band, swing. The seniors had my heart. There were so many miracles there, like the resident who began to speak after three months of absolute silence because he was so angry about being there. The music released a flood of memories for him and opened him up.”

She still performs with her small jazz band and a big band called CinCyr-ly Yours. They appear at mostly private engagements, weddings, fundraisers, galas, corporate events and country clubs.

But when the competition for the senior home gigs became crowded, the innovative entertainer decided she needed something that set her apart with that audience.

She said, “I wanted something with a wellness aspect to it. I’m a music therapist at heart. So, I became a trained facilitator with Remo to do drumming for wellness and teambuilding. In fact, I recently led a drum circle for 130 teachers and counselors to dissolve their stress and anxiety following the end of a super stressful year.”

During a drumming circle, participants can find their personal rhythm, reduce stress and access the link between mind, body and spirit. St. Cyr says the experience can be transformative and nourishing.

Her UST Experience: One of Her Favorite Professors Ever

St. Cyr follows her dream and trusts her path. A Catholic, she selected St. Thomas as the place to finally finish her music degree with a focus on jazz vocals.

“Not only did my UST experience nourish me spiritually, I learned so much from Professor Tom Borling about jazz. There was so much I didn’t know. He stretched me, and he’s still one of my favorite professors throughout my college career. We keep in touch, and over the years, he has sometimes backed me up on piano at my gigs.” 

The rhythm of life. Cindy St. Cyr has it.