Drums for Persons with Special Needs

The Circle of Friends adult group begins a new break out class tonight, and I can hardly wait to see the students  excitement when their hands first slap on to the djembes and bongos. Then hang on to your hats and maybe cover your ears if you are nearby. Joyous noise sounds like a din even if it’s organized.  The rhythm of drumming and the feeling of being centered with the earth make this an ideal outlet for many persons with disabilities, and it is ideal for persons who cannot speak but want to express themselves.

New research with children who had pre-birth trauma or post birth trauma such as abuse, major illness or violence either inflicted or witnessed have been shown to have an under-developed neuron. Researchers have had good success with improving this development using methods of rhythm including drums.

My first internet question about drum groups brought responses from Japan, Scotland, England and all across the US. Drumming is used in nursing homes and with persons with disabilities of all ages. Everyone was enthusiastic and felt that there was progress in expression and self esteem. Drumming with a group, often called a drum circle, awards a sense of belonging and being at one with others. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Tomorrow I will let you know how this group sounds, and we can chart the esteem factor.