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Mom, drummer, puppeteer helps kids, families find their rhythm

Cathy Kielar starting drumming more than a decade ago. Today, she offers regular drumming events at her Music Explorium in Durham.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

I caught up with Cathy Kielar a couple of months ago when she led a workshop that I attended with my six-year-old at the American Tobacco campus in Durham.

We had a great time learning all about African drums and how to make different sounds and rhythms with them. I also was struck by how much she clearly loves what she does.

Kielar is a mom, grandma and the energetic owner of Music Explorium, a Durham business that offers hands-on rhythm events for people of all ages. The business has evolved over the last dozen years from a store where her husband offered a variety of strings, winds and drums from around a world to a business that focuses on drumming. Her husband now sells electric violins in a separate business. Kielar has focused on the drumming.

Kielar tells me she loves the community aspect of it - getting kids, families and adults to create rhythms together. There also are plenty of benefits to regular drumming from strengthening focus and recall to building math skills.

"It's good for development for little brains and big ones," she tells me.

Music Explorium offers Second Saturday Family Rhythm Jams, which includes stories and puppets (Kielar also is a ventriloquist). They are from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month. The next one is Aug. 13. The cost is $10 per family. They're designed for families with kids 3 and up.

She also offers kids drumming classes, birthday parties and puppet shows.

Check Music Explorium's website for all the details. And watch the video to hear more from Kielar.

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