Where is it Used?
DRUMBEAT in schools
The Holyoake DRUMBEAT program was originally designed to benefit school aged young people. The program is designed to run over ten weeks to fit into a school term.
Approximately 60% of all DRUMBEAT programs are run in schools with an equal distribution between primary and secondary. The program is suitable for young people from 11 years of age up to adults. Both single gender and mixed gender groups have been run effectively.
The program is designed to target young people who are alienated or socially withdrawn. However any young person can benefit from participation in DRUMBEAT and the best groups comprise young people of a similar age but with a range of presenting issues rather than just those with difficult behaviours.
Schools generally train their own staff members and purchase drums in order to deliver the program. There is the option to trial the program with an outside Facilitator before committing to that process.
DRUMBEAT can also be taught as a subject of curriculum in certain states of Australia. This is an extended version of the program covering 60 hours of study. For further information on this subject contact email@example.com
Watch a video about DRUMBEAT – working with traumatised refugees
DRUMBEAT in Mental Health
It is recognised that mental health issues effect up to 20% of the general population and that the particular population groups for which DRUMBEAT has proved useful suffer a far greater incidence of mental illness than the general population.
Several Mental Health Services across Australia are using the DRUMBEAT program as part of their therapeutic program, particularly the Adolescent Mental Health Teams.
Clients groups have included both adults and adolescents with diagnosis that include Schizophrenia, Depression, Drug Induced Psychosis, Bipolar Affective Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.
For many people recovering from or living with mental illness, social interaction is difficult and anxiety producing. DRUMBEAT has been a safe way of initialising contact between people and reducing their fear around social intercourse as well as improving their social competence.
'What a wonderful way to engage with and teach vital skills to young people at risk! This program is not only sound in it's theory and structure, but brings with it a vitality that has often been worn away from systems and therapists, through years of stretched caseloads and crisis management frameworks'.
Townsville MH Service
DRUMBEAT in Prisons
Recommendation 13.3 of the 'Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody' was that all prisons should make available the therapeutic benefits of music and arts programs, and particularly for Aboriginal detainees.
DRUMBEAT is currently being used in correctional facilities in several states in Australia These include both adult and juvenile facilities, and with male & female prisoners.
In adults prison groups the program has been adapted to increase the Cognitive Behavioural Element as participants became more comfortable discussing the relationship themes of the program. These sessions are commonly two hours in length with an even distribution of talking and drumming.
DRUMBEAT has been used to engage those prisoners who were refusing main stream education programs and was also successful at integrating prisoners ostracised by others, including sex offenders.
'As someone who has worked with offenders over a period of 30 years I firmly believe that programs such as DRUMBEAT offer an essential opportunity to engage with offenders. Either alone or in a coordinated sequence with other programs DRUMBEAT presents another important way forward in our efforts to effectively engage with the offender'.
Dr David Indermaur
Senior Research Fellow
Crime Research Centre University of Western Australia
A number of studies have noted the benefits of music programs in prisons (Watson, 2002; Eastbourne, 2003). These benefits include increases in social skills, improvements in communication skills, reductions in anxiety, increased feelings of self worth and positive use of leisure time.
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).