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Healing music

It isn’t new to us that music is good for our health. We’ve all turned up the music in the car and belted out our favourite tune, used music to motivate us up a hill on a run or found it cathartic while dealing with an emotional situation. However, the latest research has shown that drumming might be the best of all. As well as being physically demanding, it requires people to synchronise their limbs and to react to outside stimuli, such as what the rest of the band or group is up to.

Researchers at the Clem Burke Drumming Project—an organisation named after Blondie’s drummer, who was one of its founders has found It is particularly helpful for children who have emotional and behavioural difficulties. Teaching such children to drum helps them to control their reactions more generally, to focus more effectively on tasks they are given, and to communicate better with other people.

Another study at the University of Chichester, showed students' ability to follow their teachers' instructions improved significantly and enhanced their social interactions between peers and members of school staff over a five week period. In addition, teachers found that students improved their dexterity, timing and rhythm.

Music draws on its innate qualities to support people of all ages and abilities and at all stages of life. Occasionally I have children and teens come in who may be unable to vocalise an issue, they may not want to talk or simply do not have the words to describe how they are feeling. Music and drawing can often bridge the gap between the issue and the healing. We pick up a recorder, ukulele or drum to express a mood, a feeling or simply shake out and laugh. It can allow a non-confrontational session where trust is built and we can simply listen to each other in a judgement free room.

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