The room was arranged with chairs in a circle and a drum at each chair. Some staff were hesitant, while others moved quickly to try out a drum. As people found their seats, a few shyly trying out the drums and small percussion, there was a sense of anticipation coupled with skepticism. “What are we going to do with drums?” “How will banging on drums help us to work better together?” Others enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to play the drums and could see the potential for stress reduction and team building.
Above is a common scenario when introducing a drumming activity in a business or professional environment. Participants run the gamut from, “I don’t want to be here,” to “Woo Hoo, Drums!” Yet before long, barriers start coming down and bridges are built between people. Held together by rhythm and a common purpose, group drumming provides powerful opportunities for workplace transformation. HealthRHYTHMS® is just one of the tools in our toolkit created to bring people together, create connection, and reduce stress.
If you follow us on social media or read our blog, you know that we are passionate about drumming here at M3 Music Therapy. Drumming is a favorite way to promote our vision of building community through creative expression. Our recent posts on drum circles and group singing explore the benefits of group music making experiences on both our physical and mental health.
This month, we focus on a specific drumming program that Michelle specializes in called HealthRHYTHMS®. HealthRHYTHMS is an evidence-based, group empowerment drumming program that has been shown to reduce stress and burnout rates, improve mood and increase immune response, while also increasing group bonding and self-expression. The protocol can be adapted to nearly any population and has been used in workplace, clinical, education and wellness settings.
Not all workplace team building programs are the same. Let’s be frank, some are less than stellar. Poorly conceived and executed experiences can do more harm than good. HealthRHYTHMS groups are different. They are led by trained professionals, based in scientific research, and address multiple aspects of well-being: health, social connection, and self-expression.
Oh right, and they are lots of fun!
HealthRHYTHMS® at Work
HealthRHYTHMS® integrates group drumming experiences with proven health strategies to engage employees, reduce stress, and create positive change.
How can HealthRHYTHMS® transform your workplace?
- Improve Employee Health and Wellness. The health and wellbeing of employees is a central concern of every workplace. Without healthy employees, an organization cannot function effectively. Rising employee healthcare costs are one of the biggest financial concerns that organizations today face.
HealthRHYTHMS programs have demonstrated real impacts on health measures in workplaces. In one study, groups who participated in the HealthRHYTHMS protocol had measurable improvements in immune and stress hormones. Other research on outcomes after HealthRHYTHMS programs were implemented show reductions in depression, anxiety, and blood markers of inflammatory responses.
- Strengthen Teams. Making music with others requires many of the same skills as being a strong team member: listening, paying attention, working together, and taking risks. HealthRHYTHMS programs provide opportunities for team empowerment through the fun and rewarding experience of facilitated group drumming.
“The value of a team empowered by mutual respect, productive communication and lower stress cannot be underestimated.”
– Remo Belli
- Improve Stress Management and Decrease Employee Burnout. Burnout and employee turnover are a significant challenge in the helping industries. A study of the HealthRHYTHMS protocol with long-term care workers demonstrated a 62% improvement in burnout and mood measures, leading to a projected 18% reduction in turnover. HealthRHYTHMS® groups are designed to increase feelings of camaraderie and support by creating a safe, supportive, and creative space for self-expression and working together.
Frequently Asked Questions about HealthRHYTHMS®
How did HealthRHYTHMS® get started?
HealthRHYTHMS is a group empowerment drumming protocol developed by Neuroscientist Barry Bittman, MD in collaboration with the drum maker Remo Inc. Training programs were developed in 2001, after research demonstrated the positive effects of the protocol in clinical settings. The program was built from the ground up, based on clinical research that demonstrates the links between body and mind, and on changes that are seen in biological markers after just one hour of group drumming.
Who can benefit from HealthRHYTHMS?
Anyone! In the hands of a skilled facilitator, HealthRHYTHMS® can be adapted to any age, ability, or group. It is most often used in workplace, clinical, educational, and wellness settings. One of the great benefits of group drumming is that we are all born with rhythm and music written into our DNA. It is something that comes naturally to us, something that anyone can do, and something that we find incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling. Even if you don’t think you are “musical,” participating in a HealthRHYTHMS program with a skilled facilitator will change your perception and help you tap into your natural musical gifts.
How is HealthRHYTHMS different from other employee wellness and team building programs?
HealthRHYTHMS® is a scientifically-validated approach to wellness that is fun and empowering! The HealthRHYTHMS Department at Remo© has established a solid research foundation supporting the biological benefits of drumming. The program integrates expertise from renowned neurologists, music therapists, and other healthcare professionals with decades of experience bringing team building and wellness programs to professionals across the globe.
This sounds great! How do I start a HealthRHYTHMS program?
If you are interested in bringing HealthRHYTHMS to your organization, the first step is to find a trained facilitator. Michelle Muth, MT-BC and founder of M3 Music Therapy, is a trained drum circle and HealthRHYTHMS facilitator. She has experience working with non-profit and community groups and in corporate wellness. If you are outside of our service area, you can find the full list of facilitators here.
Your HealthRHYTHMS® Facilitator will work with you to develop goals for your program and help you designate the appropriate time and place for your event.
Interested in learning more or setting up a program? Contact us here!