Disability Issues

Drumming program 'Breaking Grounds' in therapy

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The drum is an ancient instruments used for healing and communicating. A Chicago-area drummer has created a drum therapy program for children and adults with different disabilities.

The program started with drum circles that gave the founder of Breaking Grounds in Drumming the idea of developing a curriculum that would be therapeutic.

Once a month, Chris Lavidas provides drum therapy to a group of individuals with dementia.

"We'll go through different exercises that will help people who have memory loss, that will help build up the memory level of alertness, responsiveness, stress," said Lavidas.

Different drums are use for therapy.

"We like to use tambourines, different kinds of hand drums, many bongo drums, maracas, shakers the residents are able to use to get different sounds and different rhythms," the drummer said.

Lavidas has an MBA with a concentration in management.

"But I have taken some five years of training experience of drumming lessons and music education through a professional instructor and that really helped me understand a lot about drumming from the educational side of things," Lavidas said.

He started the program three years ago.

"We work with senior centers, senior living places. We work with specifically the groups, assisted living, independent living people with dementia, people with Alzheimer's," said Lavidas. "We also work with people who have various disabilities developmental challenges children and adults. That's a totally different curriculum. It's more of a hands-on kind of curriculum where it more activity focused and less intellectual."

The biggest challenge for Lavidas is keeping the participants interested.

"We like to do a different theme each month because if I came here and did the same program every time, it would get boring after a while," said Lavidas. "This month in particular, we're doing music of Denmark. We're going to listen to some Denmark music today. We're going to do some exercise that will help with auditory skills and hearing and listening, and then they're going to play along."

To learn more about drum therapy by Breaking Grounds in Drumming go to BreakingGroundsinDrumming.com.

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