If you ask a drummer or percussionist the best thing about drumming, the answers will be as varied as the people you ask and the drums and beats they play. Drumming is just as much a passion for life as it is a quest for excellence, but, there are also untold health and wellness benefits that could rival a marathon runner’s experience. A University of Oxford study released in 2012 determined that under the right circumstances, drumming releases endorphins, and drumming within a group setting makes that endorphin high even stronger.
Community drummers, or those who like to play a djembe, bongos or other hand drums at drum jams or drum circles, already know the power of rhythm within a group. There is a release of tension and anxiety that occurs during the groove, encouraging creativity and bonding the entire group together. It is this “high” that is sought by most of the participants, that moment (or two or three) where there is only love, fun and excitement – just like the rush a marathon runner experiences.
Essentially, a continuous, 30-minute session of group drumming triggers an endorphin release for all participants, and, together, that release is even greater than a drummer playing a djembe drum alone. This is why drum circles, drum jams and community drumming events are so popular and fun – together, we create unique rhythms on our drums, we meet new people, and we bond through our collective rhythm and physiological responses to the beat!
We think this makes drumming one of the best ways to truly become part of a community, on many levels. It not only encourages bonding through music, but, it allows for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels to join in as one interwoven, rhythmic voice. Plus, you get to experience the differences in drums and hand percussion instruments from around the world, each as unique and beautiful as the person playing it. As drum circle season is directly ahead of us, take some time to find a few community drum jams and events and see where the rhythm takes you in 2014.