From the earliest times, drums and their rhythms have been at the center of social and cultural activities all over the world, in fact, it is said to be man’s oldest musical percussion instrument. Drums have been used in every culture for many purposes from religious rituals and ceremonies, to sporting events and as a way to communicate or signal.
Drumming has also been used therapeutically since ancient times and now the primitive drumming circle is emerging as a significant therapeutic tool in the modern technological age. Drums and drumming are increasingly being used as a powerful means of improving health and well-being, personal development, and improving communication by large companies, service clubs, music therapists, youth groups, schools, and communities.
Drumming circles, ensembles, and making music together in a group can be a unifying experience – encouraging self-expression and camaraderie as well as lots of hands-on fun! Drumming together is a tool for unity. It breaks down barriers, builds personal and team confidence, releases stress, motivates, and creates spontaneity.
Many service clubs and community groups have created informal drum circles and workshops to bring children and adults together in a fun-filled, cooperative environment where they can build community spirit, and learn a new skill that they can even take away and share with their friends. Clubs such as the Wilmington Rotary who proudly unveiled the Jonathan P. Whitcomb Memorial Music Circle in their local park to engage the whole community and introduce music-making in the outdoors to people of all ages and all abilities. The music circle included several stainless-steel drums designed for permanent outdoor use and recommended for high-use public areas.
Drumming captures the heart of most who encounter it and with when playing hand drums, such as those used in the Wilmington Music Circle, you don’t have to worry about melody or chords, and absolutely NO previous musical experience is required.
So, it seems the drum continues to play a central role in our society. Why not find the rhythm and beat of your own drum? There are many drumming communities across the world promising anxiety release, physical toning, spiritual growth, creativity, and personal empowerment whilst being a whole lot of fun – and who couldn’t use that?
Benefits of Drumming and Drum Circles
Induces relaxation and reduces tension, anxiety, depression, and stress
Quite simply, drumming makes you feel great! It helps synchronize the body’s natural rhythms while making you feel as one – connected and peaceful. In one study, blood samples from participants who took part in an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal in stress hormones.
Gives a boost to the immune system and accelerates physical healing.
Neurologist Barry Bittman, M.D. of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, and his research team discovered that drumming significantly increases the body’s natural T-cells, which help combat cancer as well as other viruses.
Increases energy levels
Playing with tempo and speed will get your blood flowing by speeding your heart rate slightly, improving circulation, sending oxygen and nutrients soaring through your body and brain, and giving your cells more energy to burn.
Thoughts, emotions, and sensations are interconnected elements of the human condition, and one’s entire self is affected when in pain. Whether chronic or acute, pain is exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Music therapists use drumming as a method of holistic pain management, with the influence of rhythm and beat being felt on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
Boots confidence and releases negative feelings and emotions
Drumming is an exercise in creativity and self-expression. Playing music or hitting a drum, like a Djembe or Cajon, has the ability to bring out a natural zest for life through personal expression – you can literally drum out your feelings! Opportunities for building self-esteem can be found in the mastery of the drum, the creativity allowed by drumming, and the experience of drumming with others.
Making social interactions, sense of community and connectedness
It is a long-known fact that music creates bonds and community drumming has proven to be an exceptional activity to empower children and adults and family and friends alike. Drum Circles provide an opportunity for participants to feel connected with others and gain a sense of interpersonal support.
Improving Language and Communication
Drumming is an ancient nonverbal method of communication. When drumming in groups, you learn the art of listening and become keenly aware of your fellow drummers. The subtle awareness can become so great that some people report an empathic response.