Through the years, a lot of research has been conducted on drumming and how it affects the brain and human development. It is simple enough to experience the changes that come about through drumming, but documenting why and how these changes occur has proven to be an important step in validating the use of drums for therapeutic, as well as social, reasons. In particular, researchers have studied the connection between drumming and communication skills and found that the former significantly impacts the latter.
Studies with children, especially children with developmental issues, have shown that drumming helps to successfully bridge communication gaps. When used as a therapeutic tool in after school programs or music therapy sessions, drumming has been shown to assist with verbal communication. Because drumming can be used to facilitate brain balancing, in which both hemispheres of the brain are activated and utilized simultaneously, there is the ability of drumming to help transform emotions into words. This, of course, is one of the most useful benefits when it comes to drumming and communication skills.
Children are not the only ones who sometimes have trouble finding the words to express their emotions. Adults, too, may find that they are feeling something they can’t quite put into words, complicating their personal and professional relationships. Drumming assists with communication in a few different ways. First, there is the ability for drumming to help give expression to emotions. There is also the listening aspect of communication and how drumming strengthens listening skills. The ability to listen well is tested and strengthened during interactive drumming sessions, allowing people to recognize any weaknesses they may have in this area without being penalized or condemned.
The fact that drumming is fun only helps to easily entrench the benefits. Drumming and communication skills are, in essence, the same thing. The point of drumming is to communicate, whether it is across the plains of Africa or solely for entertainment purposes. The beauty of interactive drumming programs is that they help groups of people learn to communicate better using a drum, which in turn helps people feel connected enough to communicate better using their words. Since drumming also improves comprehension, it’s possible that drumming can assist in resolving points of conflict.
Drumming is a gift that keeps on giving. When people allow themselves the opportunity to communicate through drums, they often find that they have also given themselves the opportunity to better communicate without them. This is the power of drumming. It creates both inner and outer environments that are clearer, more unified, and more balanced. That is a huge gain for something so easy to do.