Healing can take place through different therapeutic interventions or activities, each impacting individuals in a unique way. While going through treatment at PaRC, teens take part in group facilitated drumming. This experience enables participants to apply music-making to stress-reduction, self-expression and community building.
Group drumming is not about performance, skill or technique, but is used as a tool for communication and personal expression. The exercise takes participants from isolation to belonging, from suppression of emotions to self-expression, and from performance anxiety to creativity.
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The session begins with an icebreaker game using only shakers. The shaker-pass activity gets the group laughing while demonstrating the power of teamwork and puts them at ease in preparation for the drumming.
At the beginning of the drumming session, participants do activities such as spelling their name to the beat of the drums. Then, one by one, everyone joins in the beat. Throughout the session, the facilitator uses body language to cue the group to stop, start, play soft or loud, or feature one person while everyone else stops and listens.
By the end of the session, the group experiences a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie. To close the session, some group members share what their playing represented.
The HealthRHYTHMS research-based group drumming protocol has demonstrated biological and psycho-social benefits. Research is and has been conducted through this program to show scientific proof of the benefits of drumming and recreational music making. There are seven elements of the HealthRHYTHMS program:
- Stress reduction
- Nurturing / support
- Increased spiritual connection
Research has shown the program can result in numerous improvements including:
- Improved school/work role performance
- Improved behavior toward others
- Reduced total anger
- Reduced instrumental anger
- Reduced interpersonal problems
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