UCLA Arts And Healing Event
By Harriet Steinberg
Feb 21, 2008 - 4:51:29 PM

WESTWOOD—There will be an experimental drumming program at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience on March 10.

Christine Stevens, who is an author, musician, therapist and founder of Up Beat Drum Circles, will be using drums for therapeutic healing.

Stevens discovered the healing benefits of using drums for sick children when she traveled to Iraq and visited a hospital. The beating of the drums helped to lift the spirits of these ailing children. When they were told to beat on the drums that were handed to them, they loved keeping up with the rhythm of the other players. 
Photo by Kibiwot Limo

Scientific research is being done on the healing power of music. According to a study published in the journal, "Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine", drumming boosts the immune system which fights virus infections.

Another study showed that college students, who feel stressed over school work or other reasons for stress, found that one week of drumming, reduced stress level and improved their moods.

Some students felt that drumming on the drums is good for certain emotional release such as feelings of anger, depression, and frustration. They felt it has a calming effect.

Raffi Tachdjian, who started the Children’s Music Fund, feels that the therapeutic effects of music could be compared to yoga and acupuncture which has shown to be helpful in spite of the fact that some may not feel this way.

Another advantage of using drums and other musical instruments to children with life-altering illnesses is that music can be used instead of sedatives, which sometimes has an adverse effect on a patient.

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