Patients who take Piedmont’s Cancer Wellness drumming class have found therapy that can be both healing and fun.
“The benefits of drumming have been around forever,” says musician Peter Marino. “It’s only fairly recent that it’s been discovered to be therapeutic for patients.”
Marino says almost everyone who takes the class initially claim they have no rhythm, that they’re not musical and that they can’t do it. But after trying, they soon find the beat.
“After the first session, they’re all so surprised at how well they can do it and how much they can play,” he says. “And that alone creates a reduction of stress.”
This group is different from other group classes where focus is sometimes on the illness.
“When these people start playing together, we’re playing. It’s not about talking about your sickness. It’s not talking about chemotherapy. It is a therapy, but this therapy is much more fun.”
Marino says not only does this drumming program relieve anxiety, stress and pain, it may also help fight the disease.
“I know there are studies that have been done that show playing drums for one hour a week raises the T-cell levels of the body to fight the cancer. So, in addition to having a good time and learning to play some drums, they’re also fighting the cancer in a much more dramatic way.”