Therapeutic Drumming and Rhythm Based Activities

What are Therapeutic Drumming and Rhythm Based Activities?

Rhythmic activities include any kind of activity that revolves around a steady and prominent beat. During rhythmic activities individuals participate in rhythmic body movement, drumming, auditory stimulation, playing musical instruments, singing, and chanting, to name a few, with a trained leader guiding the group toward a therapeutic purpose.

Purpose of the Program

Rhythmic activities and therapeutic drumming circles are among the most effective tools we have for creating a communal experience among residents with dementia. Rhythm and music strongly predicated on a rhythmic beat allows residents to respond to one another, with feeling of competence "in the moment" and often with joy. Participating in a drumming circle allows the resident with dementia who may have lost executive abilities, to take an object and affect another object - and sustain that activity. It provides for meaningful sound when communication skills have deteriorated.

Obtaining Copies of the DVDs

An educational DVD and companion handbook have been designed to provide instruction on how to develop and lead a therapeutic rhythm program that can engage and soothe people with dementia. The DVD teaches classic rhythm techniques while offering several examples of rhythmic activities. It can also serve as an activity in itself, for it follows the course of a 20-minute therapeutic rhythm group from beginning to end. Included is a booklet with extensive information on leading rhythm groups and implementing a therapeutic rhythm program, including how to cater to persons who are of different levels of functioning, tips for maintaining attention from participants, suggestions for creating a therapeutic rhythmic environment, how to include rhythm with individuals, instrument purchasing prices, and additional resources for dementia care. Even if you are not a professional musician, after viewing this DVD you will feel capable and confident to lead rhythmic activities on your own.

Click here to read accompanying handbook (PDF, 5525KB, 16pg.)

For more information and to obtain your own copy of the DVD and handbook, please contact:
The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function
612 Allerton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467
718 519-5880

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