Local students find their Drumbeat

Samaritans DRUMBEAT program has proven to be a hit in local schools on the Central Coast, with children from Budgewoi Public School completing the program with a final performance this Thursday.

DRUMBEAT promotes social understanding and connection through a team drumming experience for all ages. The transformative program is fun, creative, engaging and rewarding for students of all ages.

“The program promotes social and emotional learning through rhythm. Through participation in the program, we’ve seen participants lift their self-esteem and learn to work co-operatively through exposure to the therapeutic and recreational benefits of music,” Program Facilitator, Lorraine McGee, said.

Developed by Holyoake, DRUMBEAT is an evidence-based program which promotes social understanding and connection through team drumming experiences.

This program brings small groups of students together for one-hour sessions over a school term and is available for primary and high school groups.

“There are very specific learning outcomes: an introduction session, followed by six sessions with a specific outcome (The Rhythm of Life, Relationships, Harmony, Identity, Emotions and Feelings Teamwork), followed by preparation sessions for a community performance. The community performance is an important way to celebrate the end of the course and to consolidate student learning,” Ms McGee said.

Samaritans DRUMBEAT program has been producing successful outcomes for students in Port Stephens primary schools and in High Schools throughout Newcastle and Lake Macquarie for several years and this has led to increased demand in areas such as the Central Coast.

“The small group experience is proven to be very effective in helping students to understand their emotions- the impact of the program can be life-changing for some participants. Opportunities to learn in this way are sometimes limited in a busy classroom setting and so it’s fantastic to see so many new schools coming on board to participate in the program,” Ms McGee said.

Samaritans have recently facilitated the three-day training program and now have a number of newly qualified DRUMBEAT Facilitators eager to present the program, which is supported on the Central Coast by the Charmhaven Lions Club who put on a free barbeque on performance days for the students.

“We look forward to continuing to present the program on the Central Coast, to help local students in their learning to be part of a team, respecting other’s opinions, increasing confidence and further developing self-regulation. We encourage interested schools to get in touch with Samaritans to make this a possibility,” Ms McGee said.