Wahlbangers Drum Circle Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
(based in Los Angeles, CA.) dedicated to
“Banging down walls” of stress, isolation, and stigma
& building bridges to inclusion, acceptance, and contentment
with the therapeutic benefits of group drumming.
"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." - Jose Narosky
Drum circles have been used clinically for over twenty-five years with people suffering from PTSD; as well as for skill development, normalization, and integration.
Wahlbangers "Resilient Rhythms" Program at West Los Angeles VA - CLC
PTSD STUDY RESULTS:
"Combat stress reaction is common among soldiers and can develop to a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This distressing condition embraces symptoms such as feelings of loneliness and isolation from society, intrusive memories, outbursts of anger and generalized feelings of helplessness.
Drumming has been receiving considerable attention in music therapy. ...references relate to such activity among those who suffer from PTSD...
Some reduction in PTSD symptoms was observed following drumming, especially increased sense of openness, togetherness, belonging, sharing, closeness, connectedness and intimacy, as well as achieving a nonintimidating access to traumatic memories, facilitating an outlet for rage and regaining a sense of self-control."
"The most persistent sound which reverberates through men's history is the beating of war drums." ~ Arthur Koestler
The goal of our "Resilient Rhythms" drum circles for veterans is to create a foundation for creative self-expression, and to provide a platform for peer-to-peer interaction.
The physical act of striking a drum causes participants to be in the moment, distracting them from daily stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, and chronic pain...
EVERYONE CAN PLAY!
IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE...
CALMS APPREHENSION & FEAR
IMPROVES CONCENTRATION & FOCUS
INCREASES AWARENESS & ALLOWS FOR EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONS
ENCOURAGES MODULATION & INCREASES FEELINGS OF CONTROL
BUILDS SELF-ESTEEM & CONFIDENCE
INSTILLS A SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND GROUP COHESION
"...clients have opportunities to experience success and connect with others and share experiences on a nonverbal level, which may be less threatening than trying to connect and share in verbal therapy groups. As clients participate successfully in music experiences, they begin to view themselves as an integral part of the group and begin to see their value as a person...".
Peters, Jacqueline Schmidt. Music Therapy: An Introduction. Second Edition. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD., 2000.
We begin our "Resilient Rhythms" drum circles playing quietly, and we encourage participants to rhythmically listen to one another as the group plays the heartbeat.
We then build utilizing dynamics, modulation, and pulse, as well as various percussion instruments to fill the circle with texture, but not necessarily volume. We let the rhythm build amongst the players at their comfort level.
Our unique drum set-up provides opportunity to create not only contagious rhythms, but simple melodies as well. Inviting participants to spontaneously create their own beats, and engage the entire circle, builds self-esteem and encourages socialization.
"These men endured the unimaginable at the behest of their country..."
~ Dr. John Burt, Ph.D., National Center for PTSD, VA Medical Center, West Haven, Connecticut
"There are signs of the diagnosis of an anxiety and stress disorder, now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In years past it was called battle fatigue, war neurosis, shell shock, or Soldier’s Heart..."
Music Therapy started at VA Hospitals:
The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior is at least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato.
The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients’ notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals.
(American Music Therapy Association)