Posted on September 19, 2012
From the moment of conception, we are exposed to rhythm from the womb via our mother’s heartbeat. Rhythm is a universal, intrinsic part of our being and, as such, can have very powerful healing affects.
Drum therapy is used to treat a number of ailments including those with developmental disabilities (autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, etc.), adults with Parkinson’s disease, patients with alzheimer’s, etc., and also people just looking to relieve stress / extend their lifespan in the process.
Studies performed over the last 50 years have shown the significant impact drum therapy can have on those with these conditions. For example, music therapy (particularly music with a percussive element) has been found to be extremely effective in memory recall for alzheimer’s patients, can increase reality-orientation in severe psychiatric patients and can be used to regulate heart and respiratory rates. It’s also clinically proven to lessen the brain’s perception of pain as well as to reduce blood pressure.
The Center for Music Therapy states that, “music stimulates the entire brain in a way that nothing else can. When working with a patient with physical impairment, the rhythm and steady beat of music helps them to complete a motion in a time-ordered manner.”
Given these striking benefits of music and drum therapy, it’s no wonder that we’ve witnessed a recent boom in drum and music therapy in the alternative treatment spectrum.
It is easy to get started using drumming as a therapeutic tool. In fact, worst-case scenario it doesn’t even require a drum to get started. Movements like tapping a foot or finger to the beat naturally begin enhancing motor skills used in drumming, and are a great way to learn to keep the beat along to music. Not only that, but the simple act of listening to music that gives you pleasure while doing this practice is likely to have a therapeutic effect as well.
Once you have a hand drum, simply transfer the finger-tapping onto the surface of the drum for a while until you get used to this. From this point there are countless tutorials on how to properly strike a drum available online, so a simple google or youtube search is bound to yield plentiful lessons and ideas for how to get more involved. The most important part is to simply relax and allow yourself to enjoy the process!
If you’re looking to provide drum therapy in a group setting, Mother Rhythm Drums provides bulk discount rates. To inquire, please visit, our wholesale page.
In addition, you may find the infographic on the thegeorgecenter.com helpful:
Resources: thecenterformusictherapy.com, thegeorgecenter.com