Lyle & BC Children's Hospital
For more than 30 years, Lyle Povah has worked at British Columbia's Children Hospital in Vancouver Canada, sharing a drumming and music program with kids, families, and staff throughout the hospital wards, and in the playrooms and schoolroom.
The focus is on having fun, as well as to normalize the hospital experience, to share the joy of music and rhythm, distract from painful medical procedures, and to foster health through movement, breath, participation, connection and laughter.
On September 10, 2023 in Victoria BC, Lyle and the Drum Run Team launched this two-month fundraising tour for BC Children's Hospital that promotes health and well-being by combining indoor community drum circle workshops in cities throughout British Columbia with outdoor distance running events between each community.
Wherever you are at, start training for the Drum Run launch NOW! Run, walk, wheel, skip, skateboard… choose your mode! For both the Drum and the Run segments of the tour, there is a low-to-no-barrier for participants. Indoor Drum Circles are intergenerational, involve everyone, and include drums for all. Outdoor running with Lyle to the next city on the tour route will begin at a local community track and will engage families and all people. Travel on tour with us or track our progress along the tour route!
Drum Run motivates, engages and connects people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in interactive community-based drumming and running events that are fun and inspire physical movement.
I am writing to endorse the superb talent, dedication and professionalism of the music services provided by Mr. Lyle Povah at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital. Lyle’s ability to relate to children of all ages (and their parents), to seemingly effortlessly adapt to a myriad of challenging clinical situations and to bring smiles and giggles from little patients and families make him an integral member of the health care team. His contributions to the well-being of both patients and staff are phenomenal.
I am a paediatrician on staff at Children’s for a decade. Over the years I have worked in several departments from Emergency to Cardiology and for the last few years on the ICU Step-Down ward. I have watched Lyle work his magic in all these most improbable places. Children in this setting are acutely ill, having had open-heart operations or other life-saving procedures. Some are newly diagnosed with devastating conditions. Most have just weaned off ventilators, often starting to rouse from comas. All are hooked to an array of monitors and invasive medical devices. They are anxious, sometimes in pain and generally heavily medicated. Their families are exhausted and scared; some speak little or no English. The future is uncertain.
Into this techno jungle strolls Lyle with his ever-changing trolley of the oddest instruments that you could imagine. Countless times I have seen infants and toddlers come alive to the songs and sounds and antics at the bedside. They open an eye, turn their head and cautiously join in, banging bells and drums and throwing themselves into the action. Older children and teens immerse themselves in the familiar strains – Lyle’s intuition is so attuned that his performance engages all ages and cultures. Often this is the first flicker of response and hope that the families (and the docs) see. The heart rates, blood pressure readings and breathing patterns settle in a response far greater than that to any medication that we have to offer. Smiles, sometimes tears cross the faces of the nurses as the whole team takes a break from the stresses of the ward to enjoy the Lyle moments – rewarding human moments in a sea of high-tech critical medicine.
I have studied Lyle’s approach with interest and awe over the years. As a physician-scientist I have come to appreciate and respect the power of this most soothing yet invigorating and human interaction. It is beyond the realm of my medical practice yet is such an effective and valuable tool that “Lyle at the bedside” has become my favourite prescription. Lyle’s gift is unique, his manner contagious and his reliable presence is one of our greatest assets.
- Sal K. Denny, MD, FRCPC
Pediatrician, Intensive Care Unit, BC Children's Hospital
" This man Lyle Povah...
has the rhythm of our Mother Earth in his heart ❤️ ”
- Dennis Kale, First Nations Artist