Welcome to the InRhythm Blog

Drumming Heals Anxiety and Depression!

Researchers in London have found evidence of a surprisingly effective treatment for anxiety and depression, one that even alters the inflammatory immune responses that may underlie these disorders.

Check out this great article by:Tom Jacobs  in  Findings

Prozac? Actually, percussion.

An “exploratory examination” found 10 weeks of group drumming provided significant benefits for a group of people who had sought help for mental-health issues. What’s more, the improvements persisted for at least three months after the sessions concluded.

“This study demonstrates the psychological benefits of group drumming, and also suggests underlying biological effects, supporting its therapeutic potential for mental health,” writes a research team led by Aaron Williamon and Daisy Fancourt of the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science.

The study, published in the online journal PLoS One, featured 45 Londoners, 30 of whom participated in the drumming lessons and 15 who served as a control group. All were “adults accessing mental health services” from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or support group; they volunteered to participate.



A drum circle may be a true circle of life — and health.

Those in the experimental group took part in weekly 90-minute group drumming lessons, which were led by a professional drummer.

“The professional drummer taught the participants the basics of how to use the drum, led the participants in a series of ‘call and response’ exercises where they copied the leader, and taught the participants rhythmic patterns,” the researchers explain. The complexity of the music they played gradually increased over the course of the program.

Those in the control group did not take any music lessons, but they did participate in other regular activities, including book clubs and quiz nights.

Each week, all participants filled out a set of questionnaires designed to measure their levels of anxiety, depression, and general well-being. In addition, those in the drumming group provided weekly saliva samples, which allowed scientists to measure the strength of pro- and anti-inflammatory markers.

“Significant improvements were found in the drumming group, but not the control group,” the researchers report. For the drummers, “by week six there were decreases in depression, and increases in social resilience. By week 10, these had further improved, alongside significant improvements in anxiety and mental well-being.”

At follow-up interviews three months later, “all significant changes were maintained,” they add.

In addition, “Across the 10 weeks there was a shift away from a pro-inflammatory towards an anti-inflammatory immune profile,” the researchers report. This suggests the improvements the participants reported have a biological basis.

This is a small study, of course, but it provides strong evidence of “the therapeutic potential of group drumming,” as well as the more general notion that music can make a positive difference in people’s lives. A drum circle may be a true circle of life — and health.


SOURCE: Findings is a daily column by Pacific Standard staff writer Tom Jacobs, who scours the psychological-research journals to discover new insights into human behavior, ranging from the origins of our political beliefs to the cultivation of creativity.

InRhythm Community Drumming 


To find our more or book a session where we come to you please use our ENQUIRY FORM or call us on 1300 55 40 35

We look forward to hearing from you.
Tim Orgias | InRhythm

Improving Your Mental Health with Group Drumming
Benefits of Group Drumming for Community Building

Comments 1

InRhythm Admin on Thursday, 14 March 2019 03:17

Love this!

Love this!
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, 21 September 2020
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.


Drumming is an ancient and universal technique that is valued for its therapeutic effects and its ability to heal the mind, body and soul. And because of its wordless expression, it allows people to e...
Be heardConferences, Summits, Meetings and Seminars are key moments for any organisation. It may be a time to get your message across, bring your people or clients together, focus on a new direction, ...
(See: Corporate-Drumming-Team-Building )InRhythm's drumming for teams is a powerful and experiential way of showcasing successful teamwork every time. 100% participation. Always a hit!Rhythm is a univ...