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Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes & Thoughts (DRUMBEAT) is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention that uses music to engage participants, teach social skills, and build-self-esteem. Developed by the Western Australian drug and alcohol treatment agency Holyoake, the program was designed to address the difficulties in engaging young people, particularly at-risk youths and those of Indigenous descent, using traditional interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
The DRUMBEAT program has four components including: drum songs; drum games with analogies; discussions linked to healthy relationships; and a performance. Essentially the program seeks to combine musical expression with basic cognitive behavioural therapy in anticipation of achieving several social learning outcomes: emotional control; improved relationships; and increased self-esteem. Through enhancing social competency, the risk of alienation is reduced and engagement in future drug and alcohol misuse is minimised.
The DRUMBEAT program can be delivered in a range of settings including primary schools, high schools, youth centres, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, and detention facilities. DRUMBEAT training is provided by Holyoake and is open to teachers, educators, counsellors, juvenile justice workers, and youth workers. Several evaluations have been undertaken on the DRUMBEAT program and findings have shown the program is effective in engaging young people, including Indigenous youths, at risk of alienation from mainstream society. Participants involved in the program have reported a range of positive outcomes including: enhanced social skills; increased self-esteem; improved school attendance; decrease in classroom behavioural incidents; and greater cooperation.
Abstract adapted from Holyoake
Grace Trusso or Simon Faulkner
Holyoake, the Australian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Resolutions
Ph: (08) 9416 4444
Family Action Centre
Ph: (02) 4921 6403