The drum is a musical instrument that can be found all over the world. Its popularity is increasing constantly. The target
of this work is to investigate the fundamental reasons for the "fascination of the drum", how the drum - compared to other
musical instruments - is perceived and evaluated, how drum sounds are experienced, and how the drum can be used
effectively in an educational context. Special attention has been drawn on drumming as a means to enhance emotional
education. After introductory reflections on the definition, emergence, and description of the drum, its historical meaning -
the archaic and ritual use of drums -, and its various effects, two investigations are being presented that point the way to
the physiological effects of drum sounds. The first emphasis of the work lies on my own empirical investigations as to
how musical instruments, under special consideration of the drum, are evaluated by impartial persons (without any
professional relation to music) of both sexes, different age groups, and different educational background (89 Vpn). For
this purpose a questionnaire has been developed. The characteristic differences in the perception and the effects of the
instruments, in particular the drum, have been worked out in detail. The second emphasis of the work deals with empirical
investigations on experiencing drum sounds. While listening to a continuous rhythm played on an African drum (Djembe)
- a Latin American drum (Conga) for the control group - a test group of 68 persons (the control group consisted of 9
persons) had to fill in the questionnaires, thereby conveying their impressions respectively. It is shown how the test
persons experienced the drum sound, which sound qualities they perceived, and which moods the drum sounds produced.
It is shown that drum sounds offer a great variety of possibilities of extended perception. A third emphasis of the work is
situated in the investigation of the question, in what way drums are applied effectively in an educational and, also,
therapeutical - context. Exemplarily, some established concepts (Meyberg, Northoff/Robbins, Wilson) and projects
(Dembowski, Smaglinski) are being described, followed by my own experiences when using the drum in such contexts.
Examples from different action fields are being represented: children, adolescents, adults, elderly people, handicapped.
Two case studies, one from the school area, the other from a penitentiary for young people, are being described in detail.
The respective intentions and possible effects are being summarized. A fourth emphasis of the work investigates the
possibilities of the drum as a means to enhance emotional education. First the term "emotionality" is being clarified. Then
two examples show which educational criteria are relevant for the development of emotional education. Furthermore it is
examined in what extent musical education can enhance emotional learning. Drumming is being described systematically
as a possibility to enhance emotional education as well as social competence. Sample applications in eight spheres of
activity are being given as an illustration. It is shown that drumming under competent guidance alone as well as in a
group can contribute to the satisfaction of ones individual needs as well as to emotional learning. Drumming
stimulates people (be they young, adults, healthy or ill) to become active in unusually new and special ways, to become
more aware of themselves and their actions, and to try out new kinds of behaviour playfully. Learning processes are being
triggered off and new forms of assimilating experiences are being opened. Drumming enables human beings to express
their emotions and to communicate with each other in a sociable manner without the use of verbal language In view of the
fact that in the last years aggressive behaviour, acts of violence and the escalation of conflicts particularly with children
and adolescents are to be observed increasingly, the drum provides a suitable musical instrument to remove aggression
and stress and to enhance the ability to communicate. Ones perception of oneself and the other is being sharpened and
the ones independence is being strengthened. Using the drum - if necessary in the context of regular musical education -
enables 'emotional learning' and can contribute substantially to enhance social competence.
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