Building Community with Rhythm and Music

Document Type

Conference Session

Publication Date



With the pressure of COVID-19 and increasing socio-political tension around the world, mental health practitioners are expected to address the complex mental health needs of their clients and of their communities. Music offers one antidote to our current social conditions. A meta-analysis of 400 studies found that music can positively influence physical and mental health outcomes. Listening to music was even found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety among patients before surgery. Even further, listening to music and performing music can also help individuals increase participants sense of belonging and connection to others. This presentation will engage the participants in rhythm and group drumming activities that foster connection and wellness. Learning Objectives: 1. List the key theoretical principles of incorporating group drumming in various settings. 2. Observe and analyze various drumming and rhythm demonstrations. 3. Explain the evidence-based benefits of group drumming on the health and mental health outcomes. 4. Utilize rhythm activities that can foster cooperation and community building among participants.


Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC) Conference


Melbourne Beach, FL


College of Arts and Sciences


Jon Sperry, associate professor of clinical mental health counseling in the College of Arts and Sciences, gave an interactive talk on the immediate effects of group drumming on college students at the Association for Creativity in Counseling Conference in Melbourne, Florida.

Besides explaining some of his research findings, Sperry invited participants to drum as part of his presentation.

This document is currently not available here.