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In the News

Can drumming enhance your wellbeing?

Liz Blamire

8th August 2022

Last week the BBC reported that drumming can be used to reduce workplace stress and encourage workplace cohesion - Can drumming reconnect you to your colleagues?

The BBC article references research reported by ADP - Workforce View 2020 - which surveyed 32,442 workers in 17 countries across four continents prior to the pandemic, and then did a smaller scale follow-up after Covid of 11,000 workers in 6 countries. The research found that 68% of employees feel stressed every week.

The BBC report spoke to professionals that have experienced large-scale drum workshops, aimed at workplace team building and stress reduction.

'Prof Amanda Weltman, an astrophysicist at the University of Cape Town, and her team experienced the Drum Cafe effect first-hand in 2019.

"It was profound," she says. "We were guided to learn several rhythms and, very quickly, this crowd of strangers was moving as one. It was like watching a school of fish swimming together. In that moment, I felt buoyed. I felt part of something."'

But drumming isn't just useful for giving you a sense of belonging and reducing your stress. There is a host of benefits you might not expect.

Drumming can:

  • induce deep relaxation
  • lower blood pressure
  • releases endorphins - which can relieve physical and psychological pain
  • burn calories
  • synchronise right and left hemispheres of the brain
  • improve coordination

And teaching older people to play music can improve cognition, memory, and the ability to hear more precisely, which is exactly why drum circles are becoming a popular activity in elderly care homes and the use of drumming in dementia care is increasing.

The following research studies have looked at the impact of drumming on individuals living with dementia, finding improvements in cognitive functioning, demeanour and behaviour, motor function and body composition:

making exercise fun through drumming - over 50s drum circle
Music Therapy - Drum Circles for People with Alzheimer's
Do You Speak Djembe? | Doug Manuel | TEDxHollywood

Liz Blamire

Liz is the current tutor2u subject lead for Health and Social Care. She is a former NHS midwife, who has worked in community, birth centre and acute hospital settings. Liz is an SSAT Accredited Lead Practitioner, who has taught Health and Social Care in FE and secondary schools, where she was a successful HOD. Liz is an experienced senior examiner and author.

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