Using Rock drumming to enhance the motor and psychosocial skills of children with emotional and behavioural difficulties

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Introduction: Music has reported therapeutic and learning benefits for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) including Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Whilst hand drumming circles have been used in therapeutic contexts, relatively little is known regarding the use of rock drumming kits.

Methods: Six EBD pupils (EBD-Drum) and six peers (Peer-Drum) were given 5 weeks of drumming instruction consisting of 2, 30-min rock drumming lessons per week. Six matched individuals received no drumming instruction (3 = EBD-Control; 3 = Peer-Control). Exploratory, mixed-methods analysis was used to quantify changes in skills and qualify teacher’s perspectives of change. Drumming ability and Motor skills (gross and fine) were measured pretest and posttest. Teachers were interviewed and rated pupil’s social behaviour pretest and two weeks after the posttest.

Results: The EBD-Drum group had greater reductions in total difficulties compared to the Peer-Drum (p = 0.009) group and specifically greater reductions in hyperactivity compared to Peer-Drum (p = 0.046) and the EBD-Control (p = 0.006) group. Teachers spoke positively about changes in pupil’s attitudes toward learning and social confidence.

Implications: The positive changes to social and behavioural skills reported in this study are similar to those recorded for other music modalities.
PeriodAug 2019
Event titleInternational Association For The Scientific Study Of Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities Symposium 2019
Event typeConference
LocationGlasgow, United KingdomShow on map