Studies have shown that as little as one hour of drumming per week could help children with autism follow instructions and interact with their peers.

Child with Autism Playing Conga DrumA recent study which was led by the University of Chichester and the University Centre Hartpury has shown that two thirty-minute drumming sessions per week could help children follow their teachers’ instructions and enhance interaction between students and teachers.

The study involved research that was undertaken at Milestone School in Gloucester. The students took part in a 10-week drumming program that comprised of two thirty-minute drumming sessions each week. During the observation of the study, there was also a noticeable improvement in rhythm, timing, and dexterity.

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The study was a continuation of other research which was undertaken by an academic group known as the Clem Burke Drumming Project. They aim to show the benefits of musical instruments for children and students that require additional educational support.

The lead researcher Dr. Marcus Smith, a Reader in Sport and Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester, said: This is a unique and remarkable research project that has demonstrated the positive impact on a pupil’s health and wellbeing following rock drumming practice. Rock drumming as a potent intervention for individuals experiencing brain disorders, such as autism, is fascinating and I am delighted that it builds upon the pioneering work undertaken by colleagues from the Clem Burke Drumming Project.

The early results of the study showed:

  • Vast improvements in dexterity, rhythm, timing, and movement control.
  • Movement control across other school tasks was also improved.
  • Positive behavioral changes in school, and improved reactions with other students, peers & parents.