How Drumming Improves the Human Brain

You need thicker fibres in your part of your brain that connects the two hemispheres to be a good drummer.

Have you ever been to a musical concert or a church service where you found some drummer enjoying himself? It’s almost as though he’s one of those lazy bones who got fortunate and ended up with drum sticks.

Well if you are not teaching complex mathematics, you may look dumb and lazy to some people but that is certainly not the case.

Drumming seems easy until you decide to seat on a drum set. That’s where you find that unless you undergo proper training, nothing good can come out of your drumming.

When you actually sit on a drum and pick up the sticks, you find that you need good communication between the two hemispheres upstairs to perform properly. And studies show that you cannot get this overnight, it only comes with consistent practice.

While drumming, drummers have to simultaneously perform at least four different activities with four different parts of their bodies: the right and left hand; and the right and left leg.

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Let’s perform a little exercise so you can see why drummers get to develop their corpus callosum.

Now try to swing your right leg in circles, in a clockwise direction. At the same time, try to swing your right hand also in circles but do it anticlockwise.

If you are doing this for the first time you will begin to imagine the amount of practice a drummer needs to put in to be able to give distinct instructions to four different parts of the body at the same time yet still able smile and talk to fellow musicians.

Simply imagining the complexities may make your brain feel like it is going to shut down. But with practice, you can develop your corpus callosum and perform these tasks more effectively.

Using MRI scanners, scientists were able to show that the connecting fibres in the corpus callosum in drummers are actually thicker but fewer than those in non-musical individuals.

The human brain can be separated into two hemispheres connected to each other by the corpus callosum. And for proper physical coordination, the two hemispheres have to work together.

This involves a consistent flow of information between the two hemispheres through the corpus callosum.

Drummers perform advanced physical activities for several hours every day. For a beginner, those activities seem impossible but get easier with practice.

So if the two hemispheres need better communication for advanced physical coordination, then obviously, the corpus callosum inevitably begins to adapt by developing thicker, improved fibres.

Source: Ruhr-University Bochum

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