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MM#30 – Drumming Beats Away Bugs

A study published by Barry Bittman, MD found that a lighthearted group drumming session altered neuroendocrine and immunologic measurements in the participants –  this means a boost to your immune system. Drumming was chosen for this study because percussion activities require little musical training or experience. Drumming and playing other percussion instruments is easy to catch on to.

I had this recent experience of travelling to a remote village in Africa with a small team, a few drums and percussion instruments.  The children in the village had very little exposure to such instruments and immediately gravitated to them – rhythm has no language barrier and oh the rhythms from Africa.

The sessions were physical and energetic.  It did not take long for the adults to join in.   Although my favourite part of a drum circle continues to be the sense of community it creates amongst friends, family and strangers we now know that drum circles and group music making can do so much more.

Dr. Bittman found that group drumming strengthened the immune system by increasing Natural Killer (NK) cell activity.  It also showed less human stress response on the genomic level, not just reducing but reversing 19 genetic switches that turn on the stress response believed responsible in the development of common diseases.

These findings coupled with our last 20 years of clinical work has lead us to providing Two New Drumming Programs (with more to come) at the JB Music Therapy Centre:

FreeDrum‘ from Depression and Down Times**
therapeutically designed for those experiencing bouts of depression, moments of sadness or coping through difficult life transitions – family and friends also welcome.


FunDrum‘ for Self Expression**
specially designed for individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers

Coming January 2012 – ‘MemDrum’ for seniors and Individuals coping with Memory Loss and ‘KidzDrum’ for Children under 12 and their families or caregivers.

**At JBMT we couple the concept of Drum Circles with other percussion and a hint of singing.

Don’t forget we have Private Adapted Music Lessons and Personalized Music Therapy Programs


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