There are 3.2 million hashtags of #drumming on Instagram alone; it's no doubt one of the most popular percussion instruments around and is said to be the world’s oldest instrument. Research highlights that drums and their rhythms have been at the center of social, cultural, and religious activities worldwide for thousands of years. So, how can camps benefit by using them within their curriculum?

There are numerous positive benefits of outdoor group drumming or what is known as a "drumming circle":

  • Drumming used in camp settings, enables people, who most probably don’t know each other, to bond over a common activity. It even transcends languages, supporting team building where traditional communication would fail. A white paper by Percussion Play highlights this point — because drumming and music, in general, is nonverbal, it does not suffer the frustrations of catering to a diverse group of people, it doesn’t discriminate between age, culture, or ability — it’s totally inclusive
  • Drumming can be used as a powerful therapeutic tool. Drums and drumming are increasingly being used to improve health and well-being, personal development, and communication. Music therapists and therapy programs increasingly use drums and rhythm to promote healing and self-expression. Drumming can help connect with our inner selves and is a fun way to relax and rejuvenate our minds, body, and soul, this is particularly beneficial for camps that specialize in healing
  • Drumming encourages the practice and improvement of coordination and motor skills, therefore it’s great for kids who are developing these skills constantly. Teaching children to drum helps them to learn how to listen and follow instructions, in an arena that is not bound by the classroom
  • Playing musical instruments (as opposed to simply listening to music) is particularly important for human social development because music making is fun and uses different skills to the ones that most people usually employ on a day-to-day basis. This means that making music is relaxing and can relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. In fact, there is now a growing body of research that demonstrates that playing musical instruments is really good for you in terms of both improved physical and mental health. Research from 2001 has shown that improved mental and physical health in the individual increases their capacity for social integration. This is because when an individual feels positive, relaxed, and confident they are much more able to integrate with other members of their community — this makes drumming a perfect camp activity which everyone can get involved in whilst improving their self-esteem
  • Bringing drumming into an outdoor setting for camps enables camp guests to enjoy the outdoors within a musical environment, enjoying nature’s sounds, sights and smells. Add to this the many recognized psychological benefits of being outdoors; the fresh air, the warmth of sun on your skin, drumming in the great outdoors brings many positives for individuals who have difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, thinking, or responding
  • For camps supporting people with learning differences, drumming and rhythm are powerful tools as they permeate the entire brain. The sound of drumming generates neuronal connections in all parts of the brain, even where there is significant damage or impairment, such as in ADHD. The process of drumming engages both the linear, rational left side of the brain and the creative, intuitive right side of the brain. The two brain hemispheres often emanate different wave frequencies; drumming, like deep meditation, brings them into synchronization, creating feelings of euphoria and flowing creativity

For further information on the benefits of drumming visit here and check out a drum circle in action from Suzie at Soulshine Rhythm, a drum therapist who facilitates drum circles.

This blog is sponsored by Percussion Play.

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