Health Benefits and FAQ
The drum is an ancient wellness "technology” whose healing wisdom modern science continues to study and confirm.
(or, why drums could be sold in pharmacies)
Evidence based results show that drumming:
Synchronizes both hemispheres of the brain and creates neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in ADHD, stroke, Parkinson’s or cognitive or neurological impairments.
Increases alpha brainwaves; those brainwaves associated with feelings of well-being and euphoria.
Enhances creative problem-solving by encouraging the use of brain patterning and spatial-temporal reasoning skills.
Increases T-cell activity, whose job is to boost the immune system to strengthen the body's healing action.
Boosts endorphins, which fight stress, depression, balance moods and help block pain receptors.
Reverses the impact of stress at a cellular level and accelerates physical healing.
Improves aerobic and cardiovascular system.
Stimulates the vagus nerve which regulates digestion, heart and respiratory rate, and vasomotor activity.
Assists with mindfulness, helps with containment and emotional regulation.
Develops listening skills and perceptual skills that increase clarity, focus, and empathy.
Levels cultural, age, gender and hierarchical divides and builds community.
Scientific research can now document what the ancients knew about drumming wellness and why it played a central role in community cohesiveness and healing. http://www.remo.com/portal/pages/hr/research/index.html
Drumming can bring on states of great joy and bliss which develop 50% more antibodies than average in response to flu vaccines as well as “reduced risk in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and upper-respiratory infections” .(Lemonick, 2005).
I don't have any rhythm! Can you still teach me how to drum?
Indeed I can!!! I love teaching beginners and watch them grow into confident drummers! One of my teachers calls it "remembering how to drum". That's because rhythm is encoded into an ancient memory in our bodies. In the pulsating womb we are synchronized with sound. We live in a universe that is in vibration and rhythm and we use it everyday when our heart beats and we breathe and our blood flows. When you walk, your arms synchronize with your strides.... See, you DO have rhythm!
According to West African wisdom teaching, stress and sickness can take us out of our natural rhythm, and drumming can restore this balance so that our health returns.
Do I have to know how to read music to play a drum?
No. Indigenous musicians did not have written or codified musical notations but learned through oral tradition. I use the methods of my teachers which have some resemblance to the Suzuki learning style. In many cultures, a drum language was invented with mnemonic syllables to use as a device to assist the memorization of patterns. I have modernized this to help you learn and remember your patterns.
Don't you have to learn an instrument when you are young; isn't it too late in life to learn to play an instrument now?
It is never too late to drum. There is no age limit to being able to get enjoyment and healing from a hand drum. When you drum collectively in group, you will feel empowered and hear how necessary each person's contribution is to the whole. Each part, large or small, fast or slow, all together make this beautiful creation with this musical rhythmic teamwork of community. And these are master
djembefola, Mamady Keita's words:
"You can be a hundred years old!
If your hands can move,
you can play the djembe--
but you have to learn,
you have to be brave enough to learn!"
What if I don't own a drum? How can I practice?
I furnish all drums for my classes. If you do not own a drum and don't wish to purchase one, a table top or bucket can work for djembe practice and pizza boxes work swell for the frame drum. And then there is body percussion! Thighs, tummy, behinds, you get the picture. I help you.
Where can I get a drum?
I give drum consulting as part of my classes to assist you in your purchases. Drumananda offers a show room for Wula Drum (see Buy a Drum tab) and can help you steer clear of all the drum buying mistakes my friends and I have made over the years.
But aren't drums expensive?
A drum is an instrument and an instrument is a lifetime investment and an heirloom to pass on to future generations. My monthly pharmacy bill is more than the cost of one drum! And then I have to pay for my medicine all over again the next month! I consider my drum to be a one time purchase that continues to give me healing medicine every day.