Drumming, and percussion in general, can have positive and measurable effects on our lives, a fact many may find hard to believe, although research backs this with evidence.
People of all ages can benefit from the healing effects of percussion, but children may find it particularly attractive due to its playful, energetic nature.
Communal drumming provides relaxation and energy, among other health benefits, but it also allows participants to explore their creative side while expressing emotions that are not always easy to put into words.
Relaxation and Energy
By doing away with words, drumming frees the most intuitive side of our minds, with a liberating and relaxing effect. Conceived as a low-risk social event, a drum circle sparks the positive energy that we derive from pleasing social interactions. Sharing the same space and creating music as a part of a group energizes each individual, and that feeling stays with them after the drumming session ends.
Allows the Expression of Difficult Emotions
With its active physical side, mindful drumming allows participants to express difficult emotions and connect with their own experience. This aspect can be useful for everybody, but it can prove particularly rewarding for children with anxiety, as drumming can help process feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity.
As any form of art, drumming and dance stimulate our creative abilities, which can also foster a nonjudgmental approach to life. The benefits of creativity extend beyond the realm of artistic creation. A more creative individual is usually happier, healthier and better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of day-to-day life.
Research shows that group drumming reduces stress and blood pressure and may work as pain relief. Furthermore, a study conducted by neurologist Barry Bittman found that group drumming increases the production of cancer-killing T-cells and can change the genomic stress marker. In fact, music therapy is becoming widespread in hospitals and in many counseling settings around the world.
Fosters a Sense of Community
Drumming and dancing are hard-wired into many cultures, and for a good reason. The act of dancing to music created by a community forms a strong bond among those who participate in the process, a feeling that can be hard to emulate in other settings of our secular world.
Furthermore, if done regularly, drumming can also provide a sense of order and structure, which are beneficial experiences, particularly during childhood, when many positive habits are starting to form.