"How happy I am to be able to walk among the shrubs, the trees, the woods, the grass, and the rocks! For the woods, the trees and the rocks give man the resonance he needs". - Ludwig Van Beethoven
This week we focus our awareness on Mental health, dedicating this time to raise awareness to the challenges we all face with Mental Health.
This campaign that has been running for 21 consecutive years by The Mental Health Foundation has chosen the theme – Nature!
Here at Drumstars we understand how important mental health is in both children and adults, and we strive to create an environment that allows all of our students to improve themselves and their mental well being…simply by playing drums!
Drumming and music in general has a massive part to play when it comes to improving mental health. In fact drumming has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health, reducing depression by as much as 38% and anxiety by 20%. More information on this can be found in one of our recent blogs – Feeling Down? Improve your Mental Health by playing Drums – Here’s How
But what does this have to do with Nature?
“Our emotions are profoundly tied to musical sounds, while we also have a deeply rooted connection with nature. The music of the natural world provided the foundation of crucial aspects of our human evolution, making our connections with both nature and music innate” – Katricia D. F. Stewart, Linfield University.
Now think about this for a moment – In the natural world there are various different sounds that we can all relate to. Even in today’s society in our industrial cities and towns, there are sounds that we react to.
For example, if you are crossing the street on your way to work, and you hear the abrupt sound of a car horn – its going to raise your awareness, and immediately stop you in your tracks because we recognise that sharp sound as a warning that we may be in danger. This sound is designed by car manufacturers for this very reason, to grab our attention and alert us of a potential threat.
Now this happens all the time in nature, the first sound that springs to mind is that of a Lion or Tigers roar. If i was in the Jungle and i heard that sound, i would get out of there straight for safety! These sounds are naturally designed to trigger our fight or flight response, and im not sure about you guys, but i certainly wouldn’t be taking a Lion on for a fight!
Of course, all sounds aren’t designed to warn us of potential threats. Some sounds are pleasant to the ear such as the waves of the ocean, or the pitter patter of the rain hitting your window, or even the birds chirping in the woods.
In fact Ludwig Van Beethoven, the famous German composer and Pianist was a huge lover of nature. He spoke with fondness of his childhood walks with his father along the Rhine near is home in Bonn. As an adult, he took regular hikes around his neighbourhood to the woods near Vienna, listening to the natural sounds around him. Ludwig’s love for nature is what inspired him to compose the famous Sixth symphony – The Pastoral Symphony. Click here to listen to a rendition of one of Beethoven’s famous compositions.
All right thats awesome, but what does it have to do with Drums?
The Drums really helps us to connect with ourselves and others. Not only do we harness the ability to become more self aware and independent with our limbs, it also allows to connect with others and reduce our own stress levels, especially when we play within a drum circle. This is what still makes them so popular in society today!
Indigenous tribes have used drum circles to connect with each other for centuries. For First Nations peoples, the drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth, the universal goddess and mother to us all. They believe that the first sound that was heard in the world was the heartbeat of Mother Earth. These tribes attempt to re-create this sound by a playing special type of rhythm on the drum.
The idea is this rhythm facilitates healing and realignment with your Mental, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical self. Its no accident that we call the rhythms that we play beats. Just like a heart beat, our rhythms have a pulse on which we can rely upon. This pulse is what makes you to tap your foot to a song, even if you’ve never played a musical instrument in your life!
So there you have it – We can find ways to connect to nature through music, which can ultimately improve your mental well being.
Maybe we should all take a bit of inspiration from Beethoven by going out for lovely walk this week to indulge in all the goodness nature has to offer, or to connect with yourself and others through the power of drumming!
For more information on mental health awareness week, please visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week.
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