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​“Drumbeat” is an evidenced-based resilience program for young people.  “Drumbeat” combines the benefits of group drumming with cognitive behavioural strategies so that young people can transfer the lessons from the drum circle to their everyday lives.

Our school based police officer, Greg Newman – who is also a professional drummer – collaborates with our QLD Health school based youth health nurse, Carol Hegerty and Guidance Officer Bronwyn Gillies – both trained “Drumbeat” facilitators to provide this program.  “Drumbeat” is a program that has emerged from Western Australia and is now considered best practice in youth empowerment programs.

In the program we look at social issues such as peer pressure, bullying, dealing with emotions, tolerating others, identity and social responsibility. This program has been developed over a number of years and has undergone several formal evaluations which have consistently shown beneficial effects on a range of social measures, including classroom cooperation, teacher/student relationships, emotional control and self-esteem.

Some of the comments from students about “Drumbeat” include -:

  • “Drumming helps you identify your feelings…… your inner self”
  • “Because playing the drums has lots of rhythms and life has rhythms, rhythm is life.”
  • “Life is not always smooth, just like the drums”
  • “Drumming and music symbolise life tactics – drums beat like your heart”

A big part of ‘Drumbeat’ is committing to a regular group and also includes a student-led performance, where the participants decide who/how they will perform what they have learned on the drums. This year in both term three and four we performed as a group in two settings. Firstly in September we were guest performers at the local Child Protection Week workshop, with over 200 guests enjoying the drumming, and then last week at the Year 7 Welcome day – to all the prospective students of year 8 2013.

To find out more about “Drumbeat” contact Carol Hegerty, school based youth health nurse, via the school office.