Drumming Up Positive Health

Andrea DiPalma Yansane
February 11, 2021

Many of you already know that drumming has many positive benefits, but in considering the tumultuous times we are in it seems important to count all the ways! Some of the specific benefits of Alseny Yansane’s upcoming All-Levels African Drum 5 Week course is that you will be studying a music making skill with specific techniques that add up to so much more than just banging on a drum. This starts with the proper body posture. Good posture strengthens back and core muscles as well as contributes to increased self-confidence. Learning the proper positioning of your hands on the drum creates good drumming habits from the start to allow for longevity with the practice.

Participants will also learn about the cultural context of the rhythms being played to give a deeper sense of the rich culture from Guinea and appreciation of how life events in that part of the world are commemorated. Expanding your world view doesn’t only amplify the appreciation that you have for your situation here at home, but also allows your mind to travel in ways that your body cannot and helps quelle the feeling of being pent-up from the almost year long quarantine.

Also, by committing to a 5-week course you are greatly increasing the potential for perceptible growth in the artform and improvement in areas of sound quality, fluidity, speed, and endurance. This continuity contributes to improved ability to focus on a specific drum part and a greater capacity to hold steady while drumming in a poly-rhythmic group setting. Additionally, the class is structured so that students can build on skills from previous classes while moving through the 5-lesson series. Alseny will review past material for reinforcement while introducing new rhythms and arrangements to keep things interesting.

Lastly, the benefits from drumming will continue to make a positive impact in your life even after the class has ended. Having a creative outlet that promotes relaxation, enjoyment, and self-expression is crucial for quality self-care, especially during challenging times. Numerous studies show that drumming helps relieve stress as well as lower high blood pressure and high levels of cortisol in the body which cause many aliments from rapid weight gain, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, and anxiety, depression, and irritability. The tempering of these negative health effects boost positivity, energy levels, and immunity which are all things that we really need right now to help us get the most out of our summer. We hope that you can join us in drumming up positive health together in Alseny's All-Levels African Drum 5 Week course Tuesday, 5:45-7:15 pm, June 21st-July 19th at WACAI headquarters in the Bethel neighborhood! The classes will be held outdoors in a lovely gardened area with both shady and sunny spots on the ready. Traditional hand-made drums are available on a first come, first serve basis. Register today by contacting Andrea@WestAfricanCulturalArts.org or calling/texting 541.731.1278.