Pa rum pum pum - Drum!
Updated: May 27
Drumming In The Park
Community drum circles are informal gatherings of people who meet for the purpose of playing drums together. They often take place in public settings such as parks or at the beach, but may also be organized via a community center or similar body.
Instrumentation at these gatherings center around drums and percussion, but may also include other instruments, such as flutes, didgeridoos, and other non-percussion instruments.
Practically anything that can be banged upon to make a sound can be used as a percussion instrument - cans, buckets, pipes, etc. One need not possess or purchase a drum to participate.
Monthly, in Basin Spring Park, here in Downtown Eureka Springs, our community comes together for a drum circle where the music is entirely improvised through a process of group interaction. Angelo is the moderator and he acts to shape the experience through discrete actions, such as helping to maintain a steady beat, helping those who need it, and generally managing the environment to see that everyone is able to participate fully.
The participants make up the music as they go along, using their listening and playing skills to make musical connections and express themselves in any and all ways that feel right. Participation is voluntary and often includes drumming, singing or chanting, dancing, clapping, and simply listening.
This monthly Eureka Springs community drum circle often attracts both regular and drop-in participants of all ages and takes place at 6pm every fourth Saturday of the month in Basin Spring Park.
Drumming is a practice that spans the globe and has a presence in every culture. There is a growing body of research on the therapeutic effects of group drumming.
Barry B. Bittman, MD at www.copehealthsolutions.com has published some ground-breaking studies showing the benefits of drumming from boosting the immune system, improving stress levels and mood and accelerating physical healing.
In addition, specific studies conducted by professionals in the fields of music therapy and mental health show us that drumming is so effective in reducing tension, anxiety and stress that it actually is prescribed by some treating physicians to control chronic pain.
Drumming produces feelings of well-being
Endorphins are more than just painkillers. They're a feel-good chemical that the brain releases when you participate in certain activities, such as running, dancing, laughing, and yes, drumming. In this way, by reducing stress, drumming helps to boost your immune system as well!
Senior Care Centers utilize drumming for these very same effects and, as a result, have been known to have compelling and engaging interactions with patients suffering from dementia and other declining mental ailments because of the impact drumming has on brain activity.
Research shows that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain actually synchronizes the left and right hemispheres. For this reason, drumming has been proven to be an exceptional workout for your brain. In fact, it's been said that doing this activity can actually make you smarter because when you drum, you exercise your entire brain.
Drumming makes you smarter
Second to bassists, drummers are often given the shaft. They’re the member in the band considered easiest to replace, if you can believe it. It's common that bands think that you can just pull some chump off the street, sit'm behind a set of drums, and voila!
Well, according to science, drummers aren’t the mouth-breathing neanderthals humorists have made them out to be. Studies indicate that drummers are not only generally smarter than their band mates, they actually make everyone around them smarter, too.
The research suggests that drummers have innate problem-solving skills and a positive impact on communities.
Researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet found that, after playing a series of beats, drummers who had better rhythm scored better on a 60-question intelligence test. Seems using all the various parts of a drum kit to keep one steady beat is actually an expression of intrinsic problem-solving abilities.
Furthermore, other studies show that rhythmic music can actually make other people smarter. A University of Washington psychology professor found that his students got higher scores after undergoing rhythmic light and sound therapy. A University of Texas Medical Branch researcher using the same method on elementary and middle school boys with ADD noted an effect comparable to Ritalin. In fact, the boys’ IQ scores actually went up and stayed up.
"The rhythmic accuracy in brain activity that is observed when a person maintains a steady beat is also important to the problem-solving capacities measured with the intelligence tests."
Are YOU ready to drum up something great?
Join in. Get Smarter. Relieve Stress. Experience Joy. Reduce Pain. Feel well.
Bring a drum or anything else that makes noise and join the monthly Drumming In The Park experience with Angelo and his engaging troupe of drummers and dancers.