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Comfort Sound® Drumming: Successfully adapting the traditional drum circle for hospitalized patients and caregivers leading to future research

During a 22-month pilot project at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center musicians used the HealthRHYTHMS drumming protocol with stem cell transplant recipients to investigate if regular music making improved their hospital experience. The evidence-based protocol was adapted to create four 30-minute sessions of hand drumming in the patient’s room. Five of the six variables surveyed were statistically significant, showing an increase in Energy, Mood, Relaxation and a decrease in Anxiety, Distress, and Pain. These promising results beg the question, why did the patients feel better after drumming? Wearable heart rate monitors such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch reveal some rough data, but measuring heart rate variability with a Bittium Faros 180 monitor allows for much more accurate data collection which will hopefully provide convincing evidence for a follow-up study. The STEP grant allowed for the purchase of the Bittium Faros 180 monitors.

Presenter Information

John Beck

Adjunct faculty Percussion, Afro-Cuban Drumming

John R. Beck, Professor of Percussion at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, also teaches at Wake Forest University. He is the principal percussionist of the Winston-Salem Symphony and is a member of the Greensboro Symphony, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the Philidor Percussion Group. A former member of the United States Marine Band, for 10 years he performed regularly with the National and Baltimore Symphonies, Washington and Baltimore Operas, and the Theater Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center. Beck has toured the United States as a xylophone soloist with the Jack Daniel’s Silver Cornet Band, Brass Band of Battle Creek, and the New Sousa Band. John is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society and presents clinics endorsing Yamaha percussion instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Innovative mallets, and is a Remo Endorsed Drum Circle Facilitator in the Health and Wellness community. John R. Beck wins 2018 League of American Orchestras Ford Award for Excellence in Community Service Award.