Work out your brain at Tuesday hand-drumming class


By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Join musician and music therapist Paul Roberts for a free hand-drumming class at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at noon.

The class offers a welcoming environment that encourages fun, creativity, playfulness and connecting with others. Drums are provided for those who do not have one.

Designed as an opportunity for people of all ages to unleash their creativity, the drumming class is a family-friendly activity open to all ages. No previous experience is necessary.

“If you want to firm up your body, head to the gym. If you want to exercise your brain, listen to music,” say researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who use fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to observe musicians improvising to see which areas of their brains light up.

“Keep Your Brain Young with Music,” an article available on, states, “There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does.

“If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.”

The article points to research showing that music can “reduce anxiety, blood pressure and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory.”

In hand-drumming class, we light up our brains by combining singing with drumming. Drumming exercises our potential in one way, singing in another. Blending them enhances our ability to become more imaginative and self-expressive.

Like fingerprints, no two voices are ever exactly alike. Vibrations of vocal chords can produce a wide array of melodic and rhythmic timbres. In music, the body becomes a resonating chamber for singing, whistling, percussive sounds and for emulating the voices of nature, tones of musical instruments and a palette of other sound qualities. Considering there are over 7,000 spoken languages in the world and over 7.65 billion people, the human ability to produce sounds through vocal resonation seems virtually limitless.

For more information about the Pagosa hand-drumming class, call 731-3117. The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave.