When we think of all the benefits music lessons have to offer to developing children, we often think of a student dedicating themselves to an instrument such as the violin or the piano. However, in recent years studies have shown that the drummer’s brain is something to marvel at and that we shouldn’t give in to the drummer stereotype.
Taking drum lessons helps children develop coordination and motor skills; playing requires movement of the hands, arms, and feet. It demands different actions from your right and left hands all at the same time. Learning the drums not only help develop ambidexterity, but they can also encourage children to become comfortable in naturally uncomfortable positions.
It has been scientifically proven that drummers have a strange knack for problem solving. Music.Mic recently compiled a group of studies that were conducted.
Researchers at at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute had drummers play a variety of different beats and then tasked them with a simple 60-problem intelligence test that tested their problem solving skills. The drummers who scored the highest were also better able to keep a steady beat, while the more rhythmically challenged scored lower. Anyone who has attempted to hold a drum beat will feel this is obvious; figuring out how to play is problem solving!
The effects of strong rhythms also have therapeutic effects for students. Music therapists share that there are many reasons why drumming can be useful as a therapeutic tool. Drums are progressively accessible, physical, sensory, portable, socially interactive, expressive, and offer a unique aesthetic experience. A psychology professor at the University of Washington used rhythmic light and sound therapy on students. Their grades eventually improved. Similarly, a University of Texas medical researcher found it had effects comparable to Ritalin on school boys with ADD. There was a lasting boost in the boys’ IQ scores.
So next time your little drummer is rocking out a little too hard at home think of all the wonderful things going on in that drummer head!
-Ana Savage (Bravo Employee)