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Corporate Events – How Drumming Affects Your Brain

Corporate events are not so very different to the gatherings of the past where people gathered together under the banner of a common goal or a unified culture.

“Rhythmic sound not only coordinates the behaviour of people in a group, it also coordinates their thinking—the mental processes of individuals in the group become synchronized.” – Annette Schirmer, Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore – Scientific American.

Drumming can change the way you think.

There is something primeval about drumming. It’s cross cultural. It has moved people to battle, to joy, to healing, to purpose across history. It gets endorphins flowing, thought processes smooth out and patterns are more readily perceived. It increases pain tolerance and learning ability.

Even when done in a group setting, such as a corporate event, it changes the way each person’s mind works on an individual basis.

Well known neuroscientists like David Eagleman are proving that it is directly linked to intelligence and problem solving skills. Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm came to a very similar conclusion and yet another researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch proved its efficacy in treating kids with ADD with the impressive side effect of making lasting improvements to their IQ scores.

Research done by Annette Schirmer of the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore has found further correlations between rhythm and the manner, and perhaps even efficacy, with which we are able to perceive and process our surroundings: “Something seen at a point precisely in beat with an auditory rhythm is more likely to be perceived than if it appears out of synch with the rhythm.” (Scientific American R. Douglas Fields).

Rhythm has been cited by some as an important part of the human evolutionary process. More companies are now realizing that it’s time to bring drumming back to our corporate events and team building activities.

What drumming does to your brain in a team building exercise or a corporate event?

The world is performance driven and, now more than ever, is focussed on the athleticism of the mind. The study of how rhythm and drumming affects the brain is at the cutting edge of neuroscience and psychological studies right this moment. Understanding rhythm and how it influences human motor functions has led to far deeper realizations.

Drumming has been used as a means of cohesion, a binding agent, that enables synchronicity between large groups of people across every cultural demographic. Think of the “corporate events” of the past – think of tribal gatherings, the unified crowd marching to a common goal. Think of the oarsmen on ships. Do the drums make it easier to keep in pace with the rest or is the pattern of sound doing something more?
Schirmer makes the case that: “Rhythm facilitates our interpersonal interactions in term of not only how we move, but how we talk and think.” Her studies have found that rhythm increases not only cognitive performance but that synchronistic movement positively facilitates our ability to better interact: “When people move in synchrony they are more likely to perceive the world in synchrony, so that would facilitate their ability to interact.”

In short – people more easily act together.

Companies have already taken note of the benefits and have been making use of drumming sessions in corporate events and various team building exercises long before the new wave of research.

Think of how it can it can influence your corporate events. No longer are corporate events merely gatherings – drumming turns them into a process of unification.

Most interesting of all, the benefits derived from drumming are nearly instantaneous. The beat starts and the mind is switched on and tuned in. Thousands of neurons in the cerebral cortex emit waves of electricity as they work together and become synchronized around the auditory rhythm. Not only do drum beats move your body – they move your mind.

Basing corporate events around drumming is not only a cultural practice, it’s a scientifically relevant one. Drum Café has experience in enhancing the corporate events of some the biggest companies around the globe.