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Finding the beat sparks new possibilities

7 October 2014

Finding the beat sparks new possibilities

Drumbeat is a new program being offered through Salvos Counselling Brisbane. Led by Doug Taylor, Manager of Salvos Counselling and an experienced and enthusiastic drummer, the program promotes social understanding and connection through a team drumming experience. It’s fun, safe, creative and rewarding.

Originally developed by Holyoake, a leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation and counselling services organisation in Western Australia, Drumbeat is engaging people from all ages and backgrounds who are struggling with a range of issues, including lack of social skills, anger management, isolation, anxiety, self-esteem, toxic relationships and entrenched behavioural problems.

The program has already had success in working with people with addictions, brain damage, mental health and trauma.

“The results are just amazing and can be applied in so many different areas,” Doug says.

Doug has already run one Drumbeat group in Brisbane, with colleague Getano Bann, who works for Edmund Rice Education Australia. The group target young people under 25 who have dropped out of regular school and now want to complete their high school education.

Says one teenage participant, “I used to be shy, but not anymore, now I’m confident to speak and do what I want to do.”

Another comments: “It taught me not to punch people and get angry. It’s not just about drumming; it’s about learning social skills and skills that will help us in life.” Groups are usually made up of 8-10 people, who do not require any prior knowledge of drumming or music.

There is a focus on social skills, patience, cooperation, tolerance, empathy and commitment. The drum circle offers a safe environment for the clients and they are encouraged to connect with each other and engage with and respond to what is happening around them.

“The program allows people to be creative, and opens up new possibilities and ways of thinking,” says Mr Taylor. “We use rhythms as a way to talk about an issue, based on one of the program’s themes, that allows the person to engage with both the rhythm and the theme. The physical nature of drumming has a cathartic effect and allows for the expression of emotion and release of tension.”

Salvos Counselling Brisbane is hoping to find funding to purchase 12 drums. The drums currently in use are on loan and need to be returned. 

Drumbeat, which is active in 500 schools, youth centres, children’s hospitals, refugee centres, prisons and other organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand, has helped clients to understand relationship issues and how to get along with people, increased self-esteem, developed long term behavioural changes, reduced school absenteeism and given people hope.

For more information, go to the Drumbeat video on YouTube or check out Salvos Counselling’s new website

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