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The Physiology of Drumming

Drummers gather in rhythm
Drummers gather in rhythm
Photo taken by Zamzam Ausar


  • Drummer, MT-BC 5 years ago

    It's important to note that the Bittman study focused on a composite activity that included humor and guided imagery, both of which have been shown to have health benefits on their own. The question remains: "Would the same benefits be measured without the additions of humor and guided imagery?" Another factor to consider is who led the study. The text indicates that it was a music therapist, which is someone with skills and qualifications in a allied health field. It's difficult to tell if drumming without a music therapist would produce similar results. More studies are likely needed to show predictable benefits from basic group drumming, but these are both good starting points.

  • Profile picture of Scott Robertson
    Scott Robertson 5 years ago

    Very true, thank you for pointing that out. I considered adding such details, but I only have a 400 word limit. So I included the articles so that readers have access to the full-text. I can see how my wording may have been unclear, and that people may assume that this research is saying that drumming will cure cancer.

    Bittman touches on that specifically: "Bittman cautions against oversimplification or exaggeration of the study results. “If someone asked me right now, ‘Is this treatment valuable for cancer patients?’ I would say we have only the first step to say there’s promise, and we need more research,” he says. “Future investigations will study the effects of group drumming on subjects who already have cancer and other diseases. We also need to determine how long the beneficial changes last and the frequency of sessions required to maintain the benefits. Ultimately we will explore the applicability of the therapy outside a controlled clinical environment,” Bittman explains."

    I, however, was not suggesting that drumming can cure cancer. I edited the article to try to make more clear, that drumming reduces stress. There IS substantial research that shows that group drumming has positive effects on individuals: nursing students, management students, inner city kids, psychiatric patients, substance abuse patients, and now, potentially cancer patients are on the list of groups of people that drumming has helped. I can't see a study that involves the examination of blood contents even being thought of, if there was not previous research to suggest a physiological response to drumming.

  • Scott Robertson 5 years ago
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