How Learning To Drum Can Improve Your Health and WellbeingFeb 10, 2023
Drumming has been used for centuries to bring people together and to help improve physical and mental health.
Whether you're an experienced musician or a novice drummer, the rhythmic beat of the drums can have a powerful effect on your body and mind.
Learn more about why drumming is good for you, and some tips on how to get started!
Studies Show Drumming Improves Emotional Health
Studies have demonstrated a direct connection between drumming and improved mental and emotional wellbeing. Drumming is thought to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, as well as increase feelings of happiness and joy. Drum therapy is also often used to help people suffering from PTSD, depression, and other mental health conditions.
There are several reasons why drumming has been shown to have positive effects on mental wellbeing. Studies have found that drumming stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain, which helps to reduce stress and improve mood.
Drumming also activates the limbic system which is responsible for emotions and memory.
Additionally, an engaging rhythm like a beat can help synchronize both sides of the brain which can help boost creativity.
All of these benefits from drumming combine to foster healthier cognitive processes and more balanced emotional health.
Drumming Improves Cognitive Functioning
Getting your groove on can also help improve cognitive functioning. Studies have found that learning to drum can improve one's memory and concentration.
It has even been suggested that drummers may benefit from improved problem solving skills, as well as enhanced creativity. Drumming stimulates the brain by demanding a high level of hand-eye coordination and enabling rhythmic expression and improvisation.
Drumming has also been found to reduce stress levels and boost mental health. It can help relaxation, reduce tension, and promote enjoyment.
Additionally, it encourages self-expression, provides emotional catharsis, and instills a sense of accomplishment.
These factors all contribute to better wellbeing, helping individuals manage difficult emotions in positive ways.
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Playing Drums Boosts Visual-Motor Skills
Drumming offers benefits to visual-motor skills. It requires the coordinated movement of the arms, legs, hands and feet in time with music. This activity helps to improve coordination and balance, as well as spatial awareness–skills that can be seen in martial arts or gymnastics. Over time, individuals who learn drumming experience improved motor accuracy and faster reaction times as control and coordination improve.
Regular practice can also help drummers become more conscious of their body movement and recalibrate their center of gravity. This is because playing the drums takes coordination of both arms and hands to keep the beat consistent; each hand must do different things at the same time with a high level of accuracy.
With frequent practice, drummers are able to move their bodies with ease, increasing agility and coordination while enjoying themselves. Drumming may even be used as a form of therapy or rehabilitation after an accident or stroke, as the physical benefits apply in daily life as well.
Cultivate your Creativity with Drumming
Creative expression through drumming is a great way to reduce stress and increase personal wellbeing. Drumming is an excellent source of emotional and spiritual release, as it gives us an opportunity to channel our feelings into something productive.
By creating unique patterns and rhythms, we can tap into different parts of the brain – establishing creative pathways that open up our minds to new possibilities. So with regular practice, drummers can eventually develop their own beats and styles–all while flexing their creativity muscles!
Stress Relief By Learning to Drum
Learning how to drum can help with stress relief, by using a physical activity that releases both energy and emotion. Drumming rhythmically encourages the release of dopamine – a hormone involved in calming us down.
Drumming enables us to literally ‘beat’ our blues away! As the beats transition from mind to body, we can become immersed in our own creative space and quickly forget anything else happening beyond it.
Plus, because our hands are having so much fun creating something new, there’s also an aspect of distraction which can lift any negative thoughts away.
Let's take a look at seven more ways circle drumming can improve wellbeing.
7 Reasons Why Drumming is Good For You
1. Drumming creates a greater sense of community and connection:
Drumming circles offer a powerful way to come together and create strong connections with others. It is an energizing activity that can bring people closer and increase feelings of closeness, empathy, trust, and respect.
2. Enhances focus through rhythm:
Drumming creates a hypnotic feeling as a drummer begins to feel the body responding in time with the music. When all are drumming in sync together, it builds deep concentration as attention focuses onto the flow of energy within the group dynamic. This 2022 study describes how drumming helps people with autism reduce hyperactivity and inattention while strengthening functional connectivity in brain regions responsible for inhibitory control and action outcome monitoring.
3. Improves physical skills and coordination:
Drumming is incredibly helpful for honing physical coordination between limbs when learning new rhythms. This also helps improve agility required for mastering complex beats while staying in tempo with everyone else in the circle.
4. Reduces stress levels:
Drum circles help to reduce stress through its ability to immerse participants in a state of flow or trance-like state where all worries gradually seem to drift away and be released into the sound waves created by this collective art form.
5. Restores balance:
By participating in a regular drum circle practice, individuals can become familiar with how drumming affects mind and body which can offer insight on how to use to support overall life balance.
6. Builds emotional strength:
Participating in drum circles helps build emotional strength because it invites people to be vulnerable through being willing to create their own music. The act of creating with your drum allows a person to explore taking creative chances around others.
7. Encourages creative expression:
The act of drumming itself encourages creative expression as individuals quickly learn how to utilize percussive instruments like drums, rattles, or even just shakers made out of cans filled with rice! It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking to awaken their creative process without any prior experience necessary; just jump right in and start exploring your inner musician!
Anyone can enjoy the therapeutic rewards of playing an instrument. After all, it takes no time at all to become comfortable with playing a hand drum.
The best part is that all of the benefits of circle drumming happen in the process—without the need to be "good at it"!
Doing so can be calming and also switches on parts of the brain which wouldn’t ordinarily be used during normal day to day activities. The physical act of playing different rhythms is also thought to aid calmness by helping the mind re-charge and relax.
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About Jim Donovan M.Ed.
Jim is a professional musician, trainer, Assistant Professor and Director of Music and Wellness at Saint Francis University and TEDx speaker.
His mission is to share the healing power of music through education and performance. He specializes in placing music and wellness programs in organizations who focus on people with disabilities and people recovering from addiction.
Having presented over 3000+ rhythm and sound based programs since 1999, Donovan works internationally facilitating music and wellness events with a wide variety of populations including corporate, university, people with disabilities, and people recovering from addiction.