Spirit of the Drum

2014-07-31 at 20-42-45SPIRIT OF THE DRUM: A Heartwarming Musical Journey to Healing
By: Dr. Henry V. Bishop, Black Culture Consultant

The following material is a brief summarized description of the psychology and rational for the art and science of African drumming.

According to Dr. James West – professor of Advanced Acoustic Engineering, also inventor of the recording industry’s revolutionary mini-microphone from John Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland – the ancient art of African drumming i.e. djembe, talking drum, ngoma can be proclaimed as an early type or ancient version of the modern cell phone.

Many people when asked what they truly desire in life, answer “to be happy”, however rarely do they go and pursue this need to succeed. Therefore, it doesn’t take much to discover the benefits of drumming. Just by watch a group of children or adults play this musical instrument you will see the impact!

There are three basic levels of humanity that are affected by the power of drumming and/or music:


“SPIRIT”: Drumming awakens the primal feelings and targets the mere essence of spiritual joy which in turn provokes stimulation of the subconscious level. Through this powerful force, It will excite you by making you feel alive!

“MIND”: The energy stimulates the mind to create various brain waves and makes you feel happy. This stimuli enhancement calms the mind and acts as a relaxation and meditation to combat stress or negative feelings. The “inner peace effect”.

“BODY”: The rhythmic patterns called “beats” cause vibrations which pulsate throughout the human body increasing blood flow. This is very beneficial as a healthy heart routine and it will increase metabolism for building more strength as well as stimulate weight loss. Think of it as ”hand dancing”, because regular drumming alone or in a group will help you with joint pain, breathing problems, and mental unbalance, just to name a few direct benefits.

The next few elements will show how the drumming can develop you in other ways:

2013-08-24-at-12-41-32Confidence: Your hands speak with the drum, becoming the voice of your soul allowing you to express yourself this gives rise to healthy self–esteem and good character building.

Memory Increase: Playing the drum and practicing various patterns of “beats“ requires good memory skills. This active learning will boost the brain’s information storage process crucial for problem solving and reasoning tasks.

Attention Span: Being able to listen as well as speak well are fundamental requirements for effective communication in life. Although, these skills may not be always intact and sometimes learning to concentrate or focus needs external support. Therefore, developing coping methods with drums can be a very useful aid for you in this matter.

Solidarity: This simply means working together and cooperating in a group setting. A unified energy of a team is always greater than the individual. Drumming circles are becoming more and more popular in the corporate world as well as society in general. Join one or form one!

Fun of drumming: Once you try it you will like it. The playing of drums can give great insight to people for individual or family enjoyment. You will begin to appreciate the various levels of ability that accomplished musicians have achieved in all types of instruments.

Find a drum, have some fun!


The message is in the music. Therefore, by learning how to play a drum you will create a higher consciousness in various ways and forms in a holistic manner. You will experience increased:

IMG_47491) Creative Expression
2) Stress Release
3) Self –Awareness
4) Mental Acuity
5) Balance
6) Breathing Control
7) Energy Increase
8) Racial Pride
9) Inspiration
10) Brain Stimuli

For these reasons and more drumming is highly recommended, it is significant in addressing personal growth and highlighting the wonderful world of experiential learning.

“In our society, full and total expression on any level is an extraordinary gift, because so many of us censor our thoughts and suppress our true feelings” (Friedman, 2000)

“As the body becomes comfortable with a drum pattern that has been repeated for an extended time, the conscious mind relaxes and the worries, fears, tensions and inhibitions are let go” (Katz, 1999)