Feeling Down? Improve your Mental Health by playing Drums – Here’s How

Feeling Down? Improve your Mental Health by playing Drums – Here’s How

Feeling Down, Stressed or even Anxious?

Improve your mental wellbeing, social resilience and deeper sense of self!

Well its safe to say that 2020 will be a year everyone will remember, and it seems Lockdown’s are going to continue in 2021 all across the globe until the vaccine has been properly rolled out. Its been a tough year for us all. Some of us havent been able to see family members, maybe be furloughed from our jobs and some of us havent been able to enjoy our favourite hobbies, and this can all have an impact on our mental health.

At Drumstars, we aim to keep things as normal as we possibly can for our students. We want to offer the opportunity for everyone to get involved, have a bit of fun, and keep themselves occupied during a difficult time. Turns out it’s actually really good for your mental health too!!

“Research by the Royal College of Music has found that drumming has a positive impact on mental health, with a 10-week programme of group drumming reducing depression by as much as 38% and anxiety by 20%”.

A number of studies in 2016 by the Royal College of Music concluded that drumming DOES have a positive impact on mental health. They offered a 6 week and 10 week course as part of their study, and asked participants to fill out validated questionnaires to measure depression, anxiety, stress and mental wellbeing, and they even collected saliva samples from the participants, so that their biological responses could be analysed.

Evidence showed that even after 3 months after the studies had taken place, the participants were still feeling the benefit of the course, suggesting that drumming is a VERY valid method to improving your mental health.

When the saliva samples were analysed, they found that Drumming also gave similar results to studies which involved anti-depressants and psychotherapy.

OVERALL FINDINGS

  • Significant improvements in depression, anxiety, mental wellbeing and social resilience were found in the drumming group but not the control group. 
  •  Improvements in depression reached 24% by week 6 and 38% by week 10. 
  •  Improvements in anxiety reached 9% by week 6 and 20% by week 10. 
  •  Improvements in social resilience reached 16% by week 6 and 23% by week 10. 
  •  Improvements in mental wellbeing reached 8% by week 6 and 16% by week 10. 
Aaron Williamon, Professor of Performance Science at the Royal College of Music, commented: ‘Research into the psychological and biological benefits of psychosocial interventions for conditions such as anxiety and depression has increased markedly in the past decade. Our study shows that making music can be a powerful tool for promoting mental health and contributes to a wider evidence base around music and wellbeing.’

Now i don’t know about you, but as a Drum Educator, i find this topic absolutely fascinating. Like many of us, i have also been subject to Anxiety and Depression in my life and whenever the going gets tough, i always find release by playing my Drum kit. It allows me to stay in the present, without worrying about the future, or dwelling on past experiences… Im just there in the moment sat at my drums and for that short while nothing else matters.

Working in a drum store, i have spoken to many drummers and students and there is no doubt that drumming makes you happy! Ive heard countless times how drummers like to just let loose on their kit to release some stress after having a hard day. 

Happy Drummer spinning his sticks in his fingers. To demonstrate how drums improves mental health

Ive even heard of drummers returning home after playing a show and they just can’t sleep as they are still sat in euphoria. Drumming releases endorphins, which is our bodies natural painkiller to relieve stress and pain, so its no wonder we are all still on a “High” after the show.

There have even been studies that show drumming in groups can also boost your immune system. Yamaha’s Music and Wellness Institute neurologist Barry Bittman has shown that group drumming increases natural T-Cells. These cells allow your body to combat cancer as well as other viruses, including AIDS.

We’ve learned that – not only can it improve our mental wellbeing, but research suggests it can also help us to fight off viruses too. I know can you believe it? How awesome is that?

Infact, drumming is also part of a shamanic practice among some indigenous tribes as a way to combine mind, body and spirit as one, in an attempt to heal themselves both physically and spiritually. The idea is that this allows them to connect spiritual forces. Now this may just seem like wu wu, but i definitely believe there’s more to this. To be in the present, to deepen the awareness of self, and strengthen your intuition. These are all things that i believe Drumming allows you to access.

 

So it seems pretty evident that playing drums or music in general really helps our mind, body and soul. I find it also gives you a sense of purpose, something to work on and develop your skills, and track your progress, and theres nothing better for the soul than achieving something, whether it be that tough drum pattern you’ve been trying to learn, one of your favourite songs or just getting involved and feeling part of something bigger than yourself.

Why not give it a go? You can book a FREE online Zoom session with us today, just fill out our web form on our “Contact us” page.

If you would like more information on the Royal College of Music study you can visit – https://www.rcm.ac.uk/

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