Since 2011, Bob Stagner, who has taught drumming therapy for years, has been coming to the facility, showing residents how to use drumming therapy as a learning tool for self-awareness, good listening skills, coordination of breath and movement, cooperation and patience.
Stagner also shares that this activity can reduce stress and help control chronic pain, as well as create a sense of connectedness with self and others. He visits once a month, usually for 45- or 60-minute sessions, and starts the program off by giving each resident a drum, rain sticks and other cultural percussion instruments.
Some residents who have suffered from strokes and are unable to use one of their hands begin to beat their name out on the drums. As they start feeling the vibrations, they begin to want to do more and are amazed at how well they can follow Stagner’s instructions.
As the residents are seated in a circle, they not only use their instruments but learn each other’s names, histories and personalities.
“Family members and associates are amazed at the results they see as they watch our residents participate in the drumming and how they interact with each other,” said Mae Petty, activity director. “As an activity director for many years, this has been one of my favorite group sessions.”
Residents often describe their feelings as calm and having more energy after drumming.
“It has really helped me with my functional abilities,” said resident Mattie Sanders. “I like the sounds that I hear from the drumming.”