DRUMBEAT was designed as an early intervention program for alienated youth in WA.



The Family Action Centre in collaboration with Holyoake offer DRUMBEAT professional development training workshops in various Australian states including QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC and SA.

DRUMBEAT was developed by Simon Faulkner from Holyoake in 2003.  Holyoake is a Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation and counselling services organisation based in Western Australia. Initially designed as an early intervention program for alienated youth in WA, DRUMBEAT is now implemented across Australia and used by; young children, adolescents, adults, schools, youth services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, child protection residential facilities, mental health services, children's hospitals, refugee trauma associations, juvenile justice centres and prisons.

Building resilience through rhythm

DrumbeatD - Discovering
R - Relationships
U - Using
M - Music
B - Beliefs
E - Emotions
A - Attitudes
T - Thoughts

The DRUMBEAT Program:

  • Engages people through music
  • Provides a sense of connectedness with self and others
  • Is physical, providing an avenue for the release of inner tension
  • Is non-competitive and fun
  • Allows for pro-social, creative self-expression
  • Reduces self-centredness, isolation and alienation
  • Reduces tension, anxiety and stress
  • Reduces anti-social behaviour


  • Increases cooperation, collaboration and cohesiveness in group activities
  • Improves relationships with peers and teachers
  • Improves interpersonal skills
  • Improves problem-solving skills
  • Increases emotional regulation, self-awareness and self-esteem
  • Reduces anti-social behaviour
  • Increases school attendance

Drumbeat is:

  • A recognised unit of curriculum that can be studied for credit towards the high school graduation certificate with Curriculum Councils of WA & QLD
  • Meets the criteria of the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning and South Australian Certificate of Education
  • Endorsed training program with the NSW Institute of Teachers
  • Endorsed as a recognised course of social and emotional learning by the Australian Primary School Mental Health Initiative






Melbourne, VIC 10-12 November Blackburn Lake Primary School, Blackburn

Need more information?
E: FAC-Events@newcastle.edu.au
T: +61 2 4921 6403.

For workshops in WA, TAS and NT contact Holyoake, WA
T:  +61 8 9416 4444 
W: www.holyoake.org.au/

3 day workshop fee

$895.00 (incl GST, manuals and catering)
$1090.00 (inc GST, manuals, catering and Instructional DVD* and educational posters)

1 day refresher workshop fee 

$295.00 (inc GST, latest manuals and catering) - please ensure that you bring your own drum.
3rd day of above training dates

3 day refresher workshop fee

$550.00 (inc GST, latest manuals and catering) - please ensure that you bring your own drum.

NOTE: Participants attending a refresher must previously have completed a 3 day workshop to be eligible.

DRUMBEAT in Schools

The DRUMBEAT program runs over ten weeks of a school term. 

Suitable for all students from K-12.

60% of all DRUMBEAT programs are run in schools,  with an equal distribution between primary and secondary.

Both single gender and mixed gender groups work effectively.   The best groups comprise young people of a similar age but with a range of presenting issues rather than just those with difficult behaviours.

DRUMBEAT in Mental Health

Mental Health Services across Australia are using the DRUMBEAT program as part of their therapeutic program.  Clients groups have included people diagnosed  with Schizophrenia, Depression, Drug Induced Psychosis, Bipolar Affective Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Recovering from or living with mental illness is often difficult and anxiety producing. DRUMBEAT has been used as a safe way of initiating social contact and reducing their fear around social interactions as well as improving social competence.

(Intervention program video for Child Protection Services)

DRUMBEAT in Prisons

DRUMBEAT is used in juvenile justice and correctional facilities for male and female prisoners in several states in Australia.

It has engaging  prisoners who were refusing main stream education programs and  successfully  integrated prisoners ostracised by others. Music programs have been linked to improvements in numeracy and literacy as well as increased attendance in mainstream prison education courses (Digard, Grafin von Sponeck & Liebling, 2006).


Drumbeat and Childhood Trauma

An expert testimony validating the Holyoake DRUMBEAT program as an appropriate and effective therapeutic intervention for young people who have suffered childhood trauma  – The Child Trauma Academy

Simon FaulknerSimon Faulkner

Simon is the developer of the DRUMBEAT early intervention program and he is an addictions counselor specializing in group work. He is currently manager of DRUMBEAT for Holyoake, The Australian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Resolutions. For 12 years he practiced in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia working predominantly with young Aboriginal men.

He is the first West Australian graduate of the Village Music circles accredited facilitator training course and in 2005 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study rhythm based interventions with 'at risk' youth across north America.

Simon is a father of three young men and a passionate advocate for the rights of young people.

Grace TrussoGrace Trusso

Grace has been working at Holyoake, for the past 12 years, as a Counsellor/Educator/Group Facilitator.

She has delivered many programs to a diverse range of people with a wide range of presenting issues.

Over the last 4 years Grace has delivered the DRUMBEAT Program in 3 different prisons and in many schools and Mental Health facilities. She has worked with groups aged 11 to 17, as well as with adults, and has seen the positive impact of the DRUMBEAT program on people's lives.

Since graduating as a certified DRUMBEAT facilitator in July 2006, Grace has become even more passionate about using drumming as a way to engage participants, explore life skills, relationships, and raise self esteem.


Purchasing Drums

If you wish to purchase drums for your school/service, Holyoake has negotiated discount rates with several manufacturers if purchasing drums for the DRUMBEAT program.

Purchase online

DRUMBEAT posters


A set of 4, A2 posters that underline the key messages of the DRUMBEAT program - ideal for reinforcing the DRUMBEAT learning themes in the class or group room setting.

Purchase online


DRUMBEAT Instructional DVD

This DVD has been designed for use by accredited DRUMBEAT facilitators along with the DRUMBEAT facilitator's manual.  Shows each exercise of the formal program in detail, including analogies, the core rhythms of the program and the rhythm games.

Purchase online

For a comprehensive list of DRUMBEAT resources go to the Holyoake website.