University of Chichester

Rock star drumming to help autistic children

Scientists at the University of Chichester have found that drumming for just 60 minutes a week can improve autistic children’s ability to learn in school.

The project showed that students who took part in two 30-minute lessons were more likely to follow their teachers’ instructions and displayed improved social interactions between peers and staff.

The 10-week investigation, which saw the involvement of Blondie's iconic drummer Clem Burke, aimed to demonstrate the value of the musical instrument to pupils requiring additional education support.

Observations of the lessons also highlighted significant improvements in dexterity, rhythm, and timing. Following each session, delivered by drumming tutors using electronic drum kits, teachers evaluated behavioural changes within the students.

Lead researcher Dr Marcus Smith said: “Rock drumming as a potent intervention for individuals experiencing brain disorders, such as autism, is fascinating. This project has demonstrated the positive impact on pupils’ health and wellbeing.”

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