Group drumming allows for opportunities for:
Developing gross motor skills
awareness of others
Developing pro-social behavior
.....just to name a few!
Today we drummed with Miracle Farms Speech Therapy summer camp (ages5-7). Group drumming is a wonderful way to target non-musical skills such as the ones listed above. We practice stopping and starting, playing specific drum beats (we played the rhythms of favorite foods!), and we worked on attention and listening by drumming fast and slow. We also worked on passing, sharing and crossing midline.
Make adaptations based on your group. We were outside in the grass today so sound was not a big concern for this group. Drumming indoors can get pretty loud, especially for children who are sensitive to loud noises.
Keep in mind, having lots of structure helps kids to know when everyone will stop and start and helps them prepare for loud noises and know when they will stop, this can reduce anxiety. Using soft foam mallets can greatly reduce sound and still make a satisfying sound (I use remo's soft mallets). If you know your heavy hitters in the group you can give them soft mallets or a smaller drum to reduce sound. Also work with your group on volume and practice turning down the volume (I pretend to turn a volume knob). Talk about sound sensitivities and thinking about the group.