Why Drum Circles are Brain Magic: The Long-Term Perks of DrummingAug 13, 2023
Have you ever found yourself delightfully lost in the groove of drumming circles? Beyond the thrilling beats, there's a fascinating science magic trick happening: drumming can actually reshape our brains! Yes, you read that right. Dive in with me, and let's uncover the brainy benefits of drumming circles.
1. Drumming Circles: More Than Just a Beat!
First, let’s get on the same page. A drum circle isn’t just any random group of people banging on drums. It’s a coordinated, often improvised musical experience that relies on listening, syncing up, and creating a collective rhythm. Whether you're in a park, on the beach, or at a community center, the best drum circles offer an inclusive space for everyone, from newbies to pro percussionists, to bond over beats.
2. Your Brain on Drums
Here’s where things get fun. Every time you’re drumming, your brain is working out. Think of it like a gym session, but instead of lifting weights, you're flexing your cognitive muscles. The act of drumming is activating various areas of your brain, leading to “brain plasticity.” In simple terms? Your brain’s structure and functions are ever-evolving, and drumming circles can play a key role in this!
Drumming circle with Jim Donovan using boomwhackers university team building program
3. Sync, Think, and Link
When you're jamming in drumming circles, your brain's "movement zone" gets lively. It's like a mini-party for neurons! As you master new rhythms and sync with fellow drummers, you're challenging your brain, making it sharper and more responsive.
On the other hand, the "thinking section" of your brain gets into problem-solving mode. Remember the pride of nailing that complicated beat? That's your brain celebrating its growth, and the drum circle being its training ground.
4. The “Highway” Between Brain Parts
There are "superhighways" in our brains called neural pathways. Drumming boosts activity in these pathways, essentially widening the lanes and allowing for quicker and smoother communication. The more you indulge in drumming circles, the more robust these highways become.
5. It’s Not Just Drumming; It's Connecting
A unique part of drum circles is the communal aspect. You're not only syncing beats but also emotions and energies. This collective experience enhances empathy and social understanding, both of which stimulate your "emotional brain." The result? A more empathetic and interconnected you.
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6. Ready, Set, Remember!
Ever felt that after drumming, your memory seems a bit sharper? Well, it’s not just your imagination! Regular participation in drum circles can fortify the areas of your brain responsible for memory. So, while you're keeping up with beats, your brain is becoming a better keeper of memories.
7. Drumming = Stress Busting
We've all had those days where stress weighs us down. Luckily, drum circles can be our escape. The rhythmic patterns of drumming have a meditative quality, calming our minds and reducing anxiety. It's no surprise that many therapists recommend drumming as a therapeutic tool. So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, why not head to a drum circle?
Drumming circle Jim Donovan at the Great Rhythm Revival
8. Brain Plasticity: The Lifetime Perk
One of the fantastic things about brain plasticity is its lasting impact. Regular engagement with drum circles ensures your brain keeps evolving, adapting, and strengthening. And this isn't just for the young ones. Adults, even the elderly, can reap the rewards of brain changes induced by drumming. It's like a "forever young" potion for your brain!
In Conclusion: Drum Your Way to a Sharper Brain!
In the rhythm and beats of drum circles, lies a world of cognitive magic. As we sync, vibe, and create, our brains are evolving, connecting, and improving. So, the next time you hear the mesmerizing beats of a drum circle, remember: it's more than just music; it's brain magic in action.
Whether you're a seasoned drummer or just someone looking to dive into the world of rhythm, joining drumming circles can be your golden ticket to a sharper, happier brain. Don't just dance to the rhythm; be a part of creating it! 🥁🎉
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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.
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