Marching to the Beat of Their Own Drum: The Therapeutic Effects of Drumming

Both art and music allow us as human beings to express ourselves in ways that spoken language cannot. Through visual and auditory stimulation and expression, we can use almost all of our senses to both express ourselves and understand others in a way that may have before seemed impossible.

At Greenbrier Academy for Girls, we take full advantage of the beauty of artistic language and expression. In the last post, we visited the beauty of the created arts. Today we would like to explore the use of rhythm.

Until you experience it, it is difficult to understand just how powerful drumming can be. The girls at Greenbrier are introduced to this and utilize it regularly. Traditional African drumming allows the girls to experience a sense of togetherness that takes away from the idea of self, allowing the girls to recognize the community as a whole and its importance.

Not only is the use of rhythm an important activity to enhance therapy, but there has been a proven correlation between accurate rhythmic abilities and higher intelligence. In a press release published by Karolinska Instituet, a Swedish medical university, research conducted in Sweden observing the matter yielded interesting findings.

“People who score high on intelligence tests are also good at keeping time, new Swedish research shows. The team that carried out the study also suspect that accuracy in timing is important to the brain processes responsible for problem solving and reasoning.”

If a student finds great joy and excels in the drumming exercises, she may choose to join the performance group. The students in the group travel to local venues and events to showcase their rhythmic talents. Performing for others is a stimulating and exciting experience. It also helps to build self-esteem and self-worth.

Using the power of rhythm and music to release inner struggles, relax and express oneself is indeed a therapeutic activity. We are pleased to see the girls benefit so greatly from it and look forward to the continued success as the girls learn to march to the upbeat rhythm of their own drum within their lives on the road to their promising futures.