A colleague and close friend of mine is in San Diego this weekend attending a Remo Drums HealthRHYTHMS course, being taught by Christine Stevens (videos of Stevens). I am looking forward to hearing all about what she learned when she returns to Colorado because for many years I have been interested in the use of music for conflict resolution (see my past posts on that topic here). The use of music with and for aging seniors has also been a long-time interest.
A third reason I am interested in the effects of music: Dr. Stephen Porges talks about the physiological and psychological effects and benefits of the feeling of safety (click to read my post about his Polyvagal Theory). And he has talked about the role of music in that sensed safety. Click to read what he has written about music therapy and trauma (Lifespan Learning Institute). Excerpt:
Music is an important component of the human experience. The use of music in culture has been a documented feature of the history of civilizations. Types of music have been uniquely associated with distinct feelings, experiences, and social interactions. Cultures have incorporated music into the educational process, religious and tribal rituals, and patriotic expressions. Music conveys features of culture both with lyrics and melody. Vocal music has been used both as a contemporary vehicle and an archival mechanism to transmit important cultural, moral, spiritual, and historical events and values. Music has been used to calm, to enable feelings of safety, and to reduce the social distance between people.
Music can be a very potent and effective tool. The drum, one of the most basic instruments, provides a way any of us, no matter how musically unskilled, can use the tool of music actively, playfully, and easily.
If you want to take the course my friend is now attending, click for locations and dates of future programs. Sounds like a booming, thundering good time.
Description of the course (taken from the Remo Web site):
HealthRHYTHMS Basic Training teaches a fun, evidence-based whole person strategy which promotes socialization and ensures a healthy non-strenuous workout. On a deeper level it builds bridges while fostering nurturing, support, camaraderie, self-respect and respect for others. It is not really about drumming, but uses the drum as a tool for communication and personal expression. This system can be integrated as a therapeutic strategy in group counseling sessions, support groups, rehabilitation centers, schools, hospitals, aging facilities and more.
I can think of a few law firms that could benefit from a drum corps in the hallways.
*Chorus from Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On":
The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding
A rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da