Guest blog written by Louise Lindsay, Founder of Gumnut Music (pictured below with her lovely son).
I find the research surrounding the benefits of music on the young brain fascinating. As an Early Years Music Educator, my focus has always been on the young developing brain. However, as my professional reading has expanded, I have been equally delighted to discover the benefits music provides across all ages and stages of life.
Music is a universal language, but it doesn’t always feel accessible - especially to those who have had no formal training. That is why I am drawn to drumming - it’s accessible! Almost everyone can bang on a drum, bucket or pan. It’s uncomplicated fun that provides a multitude of long-lasting benefits.
5 Benefits of Drumming:
1. Community and connectivity
Drumming can be exhilarating and exciting. The rhythm, vibrations and sounds are all-encompassing and can be practised without any previous study or skills. Community drumming may help promote a sense of social support as you connect with others on a deeper, more spiritual level. This connectivity has also been shown to extend into ones ability to flow through the natural rhythms of their life.
2. Drumming uses both sides of the brain
This benefit is essential to note in early education as the analytical processes from the left side of the brain, teamed with the creative right side of the brain, encourages thick fibres to interconnect between the two sides. Drumming produces simultaneous stimulation between both hemispheres. This stimulation has been linked to improved IQ.
3. Improves the immune system
The physical act of drumming involves the whole body. Increased heart rate and blood flow hosts an array of benefits including reducing tension, anxiety and stress. It can help manage chronic pain through the release of endorphins and the pain of emotional trauma, negative thoughts and blockages as well as improve the immune system.
4. Communication and language skills
The natural relationship between language, rhythm and beat aids in the acquisition of communication and language skills. Linking drumming with this area of development is used by many speech therapists to help their clients learn words, phrases and eventually sentences over time. Additionally, when drumming is explored in group settings, the active listening required and use of dynamics (loud and soft) assists in auditory development in children, particularly those with additional needs.
The drum is not a shy instrument. It’s loud, proud and commands attention. Drumming is often used by music therapists and music educators to provide opportunities for people to be seen and heard. The opportunity to express yourself freely on a drum has been linked to improved self-esteem and greater everyday confidence.
So there you have it. Those are just 5 of the widespread benefits of drumming. Are you now searching for your closest drumming circle? I know I am! At the very least, I hope you are prompted to provide access to drums (or drumming materials) to the little people in your life. The benefits will serve them well - even more so if you reap those benefits by playing together.
Written by Louise Lindsay, Founder of Gumnut Music.
If you would like to see some children's drum options, you may click below to view the Tiny Tones range: