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Study reveals drumming drastically improves the lives of children with autism

Former Blondie member and band co-founder Clem Burke has used his fame for good and not evil, collaborating with The University of Chichester in a study revealing the benefits of regular drumming for children diagnosed with autism.

Debbie Harry and Clem Burke of Blondie backstage, 1978. (Unknown photographer)

The Clem Burke Drumming Project, an association of academics, scientists and musicians, have found that drumming for 60 minutes a week can improve the dexterity, rhythm and timing of students on the autism spectrum.

“This is a unique and remarkable research project that has demonstrated the positive impact on a pupil’s health and wellbeing following rock drumming practice”, said the project’s lead researcher, Dr. Marcus Smith.

“Rock drumming as a potent intervention for individuals experiencing brain disorders, such as autism, is fascinating and I am delighted that it builds upon the pioneering work undertaken by colleagues from the Clem Burke Drumming Project.”

The preliminary results of the study, a ten-week drumming workshop made up of two 30 minute sessions per week, showed that participants displayed vast improvements in movement control while playing the drums, enhanced movement control in tasks outside the realm of school including improvements in the ability to concentrate during homework, and a range of positive changes in behaviour within the school environment, including enhanced relationships with peers and teachers.

Clem Burke was given an honorary Doctorate in Rock Music by the University of Gloucestershire in 2011 in recognition of not only being a bad-ass musician and founder of one of the most iconic bands of the twentieth century, but also for his association with pioneering a universal study with some amazing results.

Via Open Culture.