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It Is Not Just Music and Rhythm . . . Evaluation of a Drumming-Based Intervention to Improve the Social Wellbeing of Alienated Youth

  • Simon Faulkner (a1), Lisa Wood (a1), Penny Ivery (a1) and Robert Donovan (a1)
Abstract

The Discovering Relationship Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes & Thoughts (DRUMBEAT) program used drumming as a way of engaging at risk youth in a form of musical expression, while simultaneously incorporating themes and discussions relating to healthy relationships with others. The program targeted young people who are alienated from the school system. An evaluation was undertaken with a sample of 60 program participants in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region. The evaluation used both quantitative and qualitative methods, including informal discussions with staff and participants, observation, participant and teacher questionnaires, and school attendance and behavioural incident records. Pre- and postintervention data were collected on self-esteem, school attendance, antisocial behaviour, and levels of cooperation and collaboration. Students participating in DRUMBEAT increased their scores over a range of social indicators that act to increase connection with the school community. The results support the underlying program theory, that combining the therapeutic potential of musical expression with basic cognitive–behavioural therapy can be used successfully to deliver a range of social learning outcomes, including emotional control, improved relationships and increased self-esteem. Further longitudinal studies are required to assess the sustainability of the measured outcomes and their vulnerability to external factors.

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J.S. Christopher , D.W. Nangle , & D.J. Hansen (1993). Social-skills interventions with adolescents: Current issues and procedures. Behavior Modification, 17 (3), 314.

S. Hallam (2010). The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, social and personal; development of children and young people. International Journal of Music Education, 28, 269. doi: 10.1177/0255761410370658

S.G. Kellam , & Y.V. Van Horn (1997). Life course development, community epidemiology, and preventive trials: A scientific structure for prevention research. American Journal of Community Psychology, 25 (2), 177.

M. Rosenberg (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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Children Australia
  • ISSN: 1035-0772
  • EISSN: 2049-7776
  • URL: /core/journals/children-australia
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