The bullying epidemic in schools is tragic, forcing many of our children to shed the distinct qualities that make them unique, in order to get through the day without harassment. Whether the bully or the victim, sacrificing part of the “self” is damaging to a person’s self-esteem and can cause problems in academics, as well as day-to-day tasks. Most of us have been caught up in trying to fit in to avoid the slings and arrows of being an individual, but today’s bullying has changed… for the worse. Today, bullying has seen increased rates of violence toward the victims, and reactions from victims that include self-harm and suicide.
Drumming can be an effective tool in the fight against bullying in our schools. Most drummers understand the ability of drums to help establish bonds within a community, and many corporations are using drum workshops to inspire teamwork and leadership. These same lessons can be used to educate children about bullying, and how an individual can be unique, and still part of the larger rhythm at play – both while drumming, and in social situations. Teachers across the country are using drums and drumming in order to teach children what bullying is, using the natural effects of music and rhythm to create an environment of creativity and acceptance where self-confidence grows. The larger lesson comes from sharing the natural love for beating a drum with others, both bullies and the victims, and encouraging positive communication.
Some also feel that through these types of lessons in cooperation and co-existence, a bully may be able to understand appropriate interactions with others. Through a positive model of communication, such as drumming, all of the children can understand how to speak up, how to understand the underlying causes of bullying, and how to act appropriately when faced with a bullying situation.
For schools and communities with concerns over bullying, finding a solution that reaches all of those affected can be difficult. While drumming is an effective tool in the fight against bullying, and can provide therapeutic benefits as well as enable positive social interaction, it is only a part of the solution. Bullying affects one in seven children today, making it one of the top barriers to academic and life success. A little music, rhythm and fun can help create a safe environment for our children; it’s time to pick up a drum and join together.