The act of sitting down and playing a drum kit has many health & wellness benefits. First off the drums are a percussive instrument meaning they have to be struck which is body movement. The repetition of these movements equals activity or exercise based on your intensity level. You must expend energy (calories) in order to perform which increases your metabolism and maintains muscle mass. Muscle contraction improves immune function through improved lymphatic circulation. The increase in your heart rate will improve blood flow, circulation, blood pressure, and overall cardiac function.
Feel good hormones (Endorphins/Dopamine/Oxytocin) are released which stimulate feelings of pleasure in the reward centers in your brain similar to chocolate or sex. The stimulation of the senses; sight, sound, and touch, builds a stronger mind-body connection which leads to enhanced coordination and feel. Research shows increased blood flow to the brain and improved cognition and memory in musicians. Listening to music is very therapeutic but is nowhere near the highly beneficial effects of playing an instrument, and much more so when you are collaborating with other musicians in a band. Can the euphoria of playing in a band or performing in front of an audience be replicated by anything else? We can recall the feelings of attending a great concert, but what do the players experience from the energy of thousands in the audience?
Playing an instrument is a great way to express your emotions and manage stress while receiving all the benefits of music therapy. The power of music is evident in movie scores. The music conveys the feeling of a scene. Imagine movies without music? Music has the power to heal and reconnect even those suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer's as well as learning disabilities or Autism. Alpha waves in the brain are released when we hear music we enjoy which creates a calming feeling.
Listening or playing an instrument has been known to bridge the gap between our memories and emotions as experienced in nursing homes around the world. Playing music during workouts greatly enhances the experience to motivate and push ourselves helping to reduce feelings of fatigue. Music has the power to convey feelings of happiness, sadness, motivation and give you spine tingling chills or goosebumps. When we combine the sound of music and the activity of playing an instrument, the mind-body benefits are limitless. As a drummer I am sure you have felt the rush and feelings of euphoria when you are playing a song you really enjoy.
Listening to a song you love is great but playing along to that song is exponentially better! - even if you are only air-drumming!
How does playing drums affect YOU? Leave a comment...