Rock-drumming is good for your brain - new video reveals

  • Date

    Fri 6 Nov 20

photo of drummer playing

A new video has revealed the physical and mental challenges of drumming leads to changes in our brain – a discovery which could prove beneficial for people with autism or who have suffered a stroke or brain injury.

The animated film, available on YouTube, shows that playing for just 30 minutes, three times a week could be enough to make a difference.

Dr Ruth Lowry, from the University of Essex, is one of the academics behind the study. She explained: “Drumming poses unique challenges for the brain, involving physical exertion, multiple limb co-ordination, creative interpretation of music, and finally timing to synchronise with the music and other musicians.

“Our studies found that with regular practise, the brain actually adapts to the challenges of drumming, leading to noticeable improvements in communication between different areas.

“We believe this means there is enormous potential to improve physical and mental wellbeing through drumming.”

The short video is a culmination of a ten-year investigation by a group of scientists from the universities of Chichester, Hartpury, Essex and Kings College London. They collaborated with iconic drummers including Blondie’s Clem Burke and Skunk Anansie’s Mark Richardson to explore how drumming affects the brain.

The most recent scientific study from the appropriately named Clem Burke Drumming Project was published in the acclaimed Scientific Reports journal earlier this year. It showed drumming brings about positive changes in brain structure and function.

The idea behind the new animated video was to make the scientific investigation more accessible to a wider audience, according to Kings College London’s Professor Steve Williams. He said: “This animation helps to showcase a new collaboration between art and science. We sincerely hope that our fun approach reaches the widest possible audience.”

A podcast discussing the positive effects of drumming on mental health is available on the Supporting Champions channel.

There is more information on For more about work undertaken by the Clem Burke Drumming Project research group web pages.

 Photo courtesy of Matt Bigwood

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