Baffled By Beats
I still remember when I was a kid my parents always would play a song or clap aloud to draw my attention towards them. At the sound of music I would pause anything that I would be into and extend complete attention to listen to that I hear. It wasn’t about the lyrics or the tune of what I was listening to, it was ‘that’ magic element of the music that kept the lyrics and tune going – the rhythm. Rhythm was a fascinating concept that kept me engaged as a lad. Anything and everything that would get caught between my fingers I would use them as sticks and bang on a door, utensils, sometimes on my dad’s head even trying to understand the concept of drum beats. As days moved on I discovered that it was a percussive instrument that would create a feel and tempo of the song and is therefore the ‘backbone’ of any band. The drum is a very popular instrument that all cultures have in common! The role of a drum kit is loud and dominant as the lead vocals in most music styles! My passion to learn drums grew stronger and yes did land me as a distinction holder in the 8th Grade percussion exams from the Trinity college of London and eventually my passion became my profession as well. I love being a Drum tutor!
In history, drumming and the use of percussive instruments have had a significant role in people’s lives. Not only do the people who play these instruments enjoy them, but it is said that “there is as much pleasure participating in, as listening to and admiring to it”. The use of drums has been recognized as being able to put people into spiritual trances throughout history. The drum set is a musical instrument with great power and presence that gives the “pulse” or backbone to the music it is incorporated with.
I view drumming as a way to complete the inner self. Drumming is helpful in relieving stress and improving physical and mental well-being. Playing the drums has very positive effects on brain development and coordination. Drumming is also beneficial to hand-eye coordination and improves reflexes and develops muscles. Learning to play the drums gives enough instant gratification to be enjoyable for the beginner student, yet can be challenging and difficult enough to keep even the most seasoned player engaged and interested in learning more.
1. Drumming can help students grow academically; it can improve students’ ability to concentrate and compliment their studies in the arts, math, science, language arts, history & physical fitness.
2. According to scientific research, playing music, and hence drumming and playing percussion, increases the development of various regions of the brain, including the corpus callosum, motor and auditory cortexes.
3. Playing drums and rhythms can be an optimal experience and encourages participants of all ages to achieve flow.
4. Drumming is a healing art and therefore it can give participants of any age a better sense of well-being.
5. Hand drumming (and regular participation in any form of percussion playing) increases the physical stamina of students.
6. Drumming increases body awareness & kinesthetic development; drumming helps students develop graceful coordination and self-control.
7. The process of drumming engages both the linear, rational left brain and the creative (intuitive right brain).
8. Playing rhythms improves listening skills and increases children and teens’ ability to focus for extended periods of time.
9. In general, the increasing of rhythmic skills – and the learning of any musical instrument – increases students’ confidence.
10. Playing rhythmic music helps students to take notice of the rhythms and beauty in nature and their surroundings.
The above stated facts are indeed amazing and I have experienced it myself being a drummer. My role as a drum tutor at the Academy of Western Music (AWM), Chennai is a dream come true thing. The AWM offers a great music learning ambience and experience to its students and opportunities to the faculties here. As a tutor, every session is exciting, and the top notch instruments make the teaching and learning all the more interesting at this music academy. If you find your child baffled by the beats, Academy of Western Music is the place for him/her to master the art. Enroll him; let him enjoy the experience of the enthralling beauty in beats.
F. Terence Nathan
Drum Instructor –Academy of Western Music, Chennai.