Group Drumming

  • Laura Teutsch
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This week I invested in some new instruments! A set of eight 8-inch fiberskyn frame drums by Remo! Having a set of matching drums is an asset for group music therapy sessions.  In today’s blog post, I’d like to share with you some benefits of group drumming activities for children and adults.

Group drumming with children

Group drumming activities offer children opportunities to explore various roles within a group setting.  In highly structured group drumming activities, children can practice both leading a group and following a leader in a safe and comfortable way.  Children can practice their non-verbal communication skills, develop social skills, stimulate hand-eye coordination, and work on impulse control.  In less structured group drumming activities, children can explore self-expression, listening and responding skills, and develop emotional functioning.  A perfect environment for the growth of self-confidence!

Group drumming with adults

Adults can benefit in many of the same ways that children can from group drumming activities, but the activities themselves may look a little different.  The therapist may offer more opportunities for adult clients to work together to lead the group in the direction it needs to go.  The therapist may be less of a leader in the group drumming and more of a supporter. 

How about a specific example of a group drumming activity with adults? A client shares a difficult emotion or event that they are struggling with.  This client then improvises on the drum, expressing themselves freely, while the rest of the group, including the therapist, musically supports and holds the soloist. This activity can allow the soloist to experience freedom of expression, validation of their emotions, and support and acceptance from others.  The rest of the group practices empathy, non-verbal communication, and social skills.

I can’t wait to use these with my clients!