The Neuroscience of Drumming: Researchers Discover the Secrets of Drumming & The Human Brain

Drumming in a group relieves stress, enhances brain function, lessens anxiety, creates joy and improves quality of life. 


Communicating through ancient rhythms opens the heart to higher vibrations allowing for deep connections to spirit and self.


DrumConnection group classes emphasize fun and learning in an exciting, empowering environment. Classes are offered at various levels from complete beginners to advanced drummers. Anyone can learn how to drum!


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Could a natural rhythm - which some experts believe we all possess - be a cure for a variety of health problems?

Some certainly think so.


Alan Tauber, from Boston, is called on to teach drumming to patients with problems ranging from addiction to autism, and learning difficulties to mental health issues. He has even offered help to terminally ill patients needing palliative care, people with social phobias and depressive and anxious patients in clinical settings. And he says the results are amazing.


Experts believe that rhythmic drumming can aid health by inducing a deep sense of relaxation, reducing stress, and lowering blood pressure. It actually does much more than that!


Drumming health benefits

"Drumming has a number of benefits," said Tauber.


"It can energize or relax. It can foster a sense of playfulness or release frustration and tension. It can also help in the conquering of social isolation and the building of positive relationships."


One patient, an alcoholic, told Tauber her drumming sessions had helped her so much it had given her the inspiration to continue with a her life.


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Drumming event

"She said when she came into the clinic she was extremely negative and the first two or three days the treatment was purely about detox and heavy stuff," said Simon.


"The drumming was the first time she engaged and smiled. "She said 'I came out of myself and saw that I could survive'."


Tauber, who also carries out drumming sessions for the general public, said there was a growing interest in the therapeutic effect it could have, both on the individual and the community.


"There is strong evidence to suggest that drumming may actually be a healing activity," he said. "Some have gone so far as to prove that time spent drumming can positively affect our immune systems, levels of stress and psychological well being."


Natural sense of rhythm

Stephen Clift, professor of health education at Canterbury University and director of research at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, Folkestone, said his center had recently hosted a workshop into the benefits of drumming.


Drumming is now in the forefront of our methods to reach people where medication was a first choice.

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Drumming may help people relax

"It gives a general sense of well being," he said. "As a research center we are interested in arts and health generally but particularly in regards to music.


"Most of the work we have been doing is in regards to singing, particularly in groups and community sessions - but these benefits apply to drumming. "It is fun and challenging, but can produce very positive results very quickly."


Drumming is now in the forefront of our methods to reach people where medication was a first choice. Drumming groups with a qualified facilitator should be the first method of ongoing treatment, says Tauber of Boston's DrumConnection.


Dr Barry Bittman, a neurologist, and CEO of the Yamaha and Wellness Institute in Pensylvania, believes one of the great potential benefits of employing drums in therapy is that they are so easy use.


He believes that everybody has a sense of rhythm and we couldn't agree more!


"I believe we are hard wired for music there is evidence that even in the womb the foetus has rhythm," he said. "We are all naturally musical, although in the US less than 7% of adults over the age of 18 even pick up a musical instrument once a year.


"Drums are accessible and don't present the challenge of a learning curve - anyone regardless of handicap can sit and beat out a rhythm on a drum.


"Drumming is affordable, accessible and sustainable.


"I think we all begin as drummers if you think about childhood the children are under the table banging on pots and pans."


Nick "Topper" Headon, former drummer of the legendary 1970s punk group The Clash, is one who subscribes to the theory that drumming is good for the psyche.


Unfortunately a drug problem developed while he was playing with The Clash meant that he went 26 years without playing the drums, but now that he has finally kicked his drug habit he once again enjoys the buzz of hammering away on his kit.


He said: "Its a physical activity, it stimulates parts of the brain keeping the four limbs doing something different, and it is primeval as well - drums were the first instrument: before music, people were banging things together."