Many studies have been performed on the different ways a brain functions. One of the most common is the strengths of each hemisphere of the brain, or, the common argument of “right brain and left brain” thinking. Since brain development happens at its highest level during childhood, there are definite benefits to harnessing the powers of each side of the brain during this time. By drumming with kids, each side of the brain can be accessed, encouraging more than a love of rhythm, but, development of learning styles and skills that can last a lifetime.
The “left brain” encompasses a more logical approach to thinking. The left side of the brain is what processes time, math, sequences, spoken and written language. It is practical, measured and critical, and understands tactile stimulus. Drumming is able to reach this side of the brain through the measured action of rhythm, and the sense of touch as a kid plays a structured beat on a drum. Left brain thinking adores drumming for its steady foundation of time and space, which is an avenue for encouraging skills based in logic and math, as well as the natural rhythm of communication and languages.
The “right brain” is best thought of as the creative, intuitive side of thinking. As the first stop for music and artistic purposes, the right brain is also where a child’s visual motor skills are best reached. The right side of the brain enjoys thinking outside the box, and revel in new ideas and concepts, plus, the right brain is responsible for multi-tasking. Drumming with kids stimulates the right brain through the creativity of drumming – from the variety of drums used, to the various rhythms, to the experience of drumming with other drummers. From there, the brain is better able to use complex, abstract thinking in order to solve problems and more, benefitting creative pursuits and even scientific discoveries.
A true benefit of drumming for right brain and left brain thinkers is that through rhythm and the action of drumming, both sides of the brain are accessed at one time. When kids drum, they are increasing the functionality between both sides of the brain, which benefits them in school and on the playground. Increasing the ability of children to perform well academically and to make positive relationship connections is not only important for self-esteem and youth development, but, also serves to make stronger adults. Through this brainy teamwork, drumming with kids helps build skills and abilities that can only increase the brightness of their future, from the rock stars to the rocket scientists, and everywhere in between.