How an Ancient Tradition Strengthens Community While Healing Trauma

Why does a therapeutic boarding school for girls have a drumming program?

Students participate in therapeutic drumming at Greenbrier Academy

For centuries, numerous cultures throughout the world have known what clinical studies have only recently proven. The rhythms of group drumming synch a listener’s brain hemispheres and bring about moments of clear intuition, reduce anxiety and stress, release emotional trauma and create a sense of connectedness with self and others.

Group drumming has long been considered a sacred practice and, in fact, was often performed by the women of the tribe.

“Drumming is what made me feel like I was a part of the school when I first got here.”



In Greenbrier’s Therapeutic Drumming program, your daughter is handed down rhythms from more practiced students as she becomes part of the Greenbrier sisterhood. Her daily group practice provides an entirely different context for connectedness than our other signature programs while opening her mind to accept the new, positive self-beliefs she is working to discover.

“Research reviews indicate that drumming enhances recovery through inducing relaxation and enhancing theta-wave production and brain-wave synchronization. Drumming produces pleasurable experiences, enhanced awareness of preconscious dynamics, release of emotional trauma, and reintegration of self.

Drumming alleviates self-centeredness, isolation, and alienation, creating a sense of connectedness with self and others. Drumming provides a secular approach to accessing a higher power and applying spiritual perspectives.”

-Michael Winkelman, PhD, MPH – American Journal of Public Health

(Winkelman, Michael; American Journal of Public Health, April, 2003, Vol.93, Issue 4, P.647,5p.)

Our Drumming Program also provides leadership opportunities for your daughter in the form of the Drum Leader. If elected as Drum Leader, she will set the pace of the circle and be a positive example for the entire student body.

If your daughter shows a real interest and talent for the rhythms, she will have the chance to audition for Greenbrier’s Performance Drumming Group and perform with the girls out in the community.

“Ten minutes of drumming everyday releases tension, resets the mind and body’s inner clock, and serves as both a stimulant and sedative… Among all the instruments used in healing, the drum produces some of the most powerful effects.”

-Don Campbell, “The Mozart Effect”