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on December 10, 2001
This is a must have book in any person interested in the field of percussion, music therapy, or wellness. As a drummer and psychotherapist Robert Friedman guides the reader through the experience of using the drum as a tool for therapy and healing. What has been known for centuries by other cultures of the world comes to life in Friemdman's book. He uses stories from expert percussionists such as Layne Redmond and Babatunde Olatunji as well as noted music therapists Barry Bernstein and Christine Stevens among many others to convey that the drum is a powerful and useful tool in therapy. Friedman inculded many helpful sections such as drumming with specific populations such as At-Risk Adolescents, Senior Citizens, Autism, Down Syndrome, and many others. A section on specific drumming activities is included as well as an extensive list of drum related resources. This book is a pleasure to read and learn from. On a personal level I appreciate that several times in the book Friedman recommends consulting a music therapist to assist with therapeutic drumming interventions. He clearly recognizes and supports the use of music as a vital part of the therapeutic process and guides the reader to many sources where they can explore their rhythmic spirit. This book should be required reading for anyone entering the healthcare field. I personally recommend this book to my percussion students and fellow music therapists and know that many more would benefit from reading this wonderful work.
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on December 8, 2001
I have read "The Healing Power of the Drum" and highly recommend it!
Let me also interject- I am very discriminating with regard to the books I recommend; to be perfectly honest, this is the first time I have ever posted one of these online reviews... but I really wanted to let people know -- this book is an absolute must-read.
The Healing Power of the Drum has taught me so much about how drumming can benefit one's health. It helped me with my father (who has been suffering from Parkinson's disease for 18 years) and it also supplied the tools I needed to get through the recent death of a close friend.
As a Rehabilitation Trainer, I deal with a lot of people who are trying to recover from what are often devastating circumstances. Many are trying to regain not only their physical, but also their mental strength. To help my patients understand the benefits of the mind/body connection, I give each of them a copy of Friedman's book. I would be hard-pressed to find a single one of them who has not benefitted from this book in some way.
I recently saw Mr. Friedman on a Discovery Channel Health series, as an expert on drumming and wellness. I found his ideas, as in his book, to be not only extremely inspiring... but also very easy to implement. The bottom line, Mr. Friedman provides innovative ideas and solutions in the arena of complementary medicine and rhythm that real people can use in the real world.
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on November 12, 2000
I first met Robert Friedman at a Drum Away Your Stress workshop in New York. I actually went more as an observer since I was in the process of leading similar programs. Robert quickly realized that I was also a drummer and so we initiated a connection between us which has led to much fun and shared information. The Healing Power Of The Drum has become my number one resource book. Last week I led a rhythm circle in a nursing home. I consulted Robert's little gem and was totally inspired by the research and stories about his work with the elderly and more specifically Alzheimer's patients. He talks about brainwave study and drummings effects on attention span. Reading his accounts filled me with hands on information and also totally inspired me to working with these magnificent people in a very meaningful way. Whether it is working with school children, corporate executives or simple community events,Robert's book always has something very useful and motivating for me. The drum is so much more than I ever imagined it could be. I used to see it as a musical instrument to have fun with and entertain others. In actuality it is so much more. After reading The Healing Power OF The Drum one is left with a sense of how truly sacred this simple hand drum really is. It's power to communicate, open the heart, summon the divine and heal the inner self is quite miraculous. Robert Friedman has us discover this truth with writing that is eloquent yet practical. The book invites you in and once there you can feel the rhythms jumping right off of the pages. I recommend this book to everyone, since the strongest rhythm in existance,the heartbeat,is inside all of us.
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Excellent book that discusses how drumming has been a useful "healing tool" for alzheimers patients, drug detox, speech therapies, grief, parkinsons and more. It makes sense that "....rhythm accesses the brain globally. For instance vision is in one part of the brain, speech another, but music uses the whole brain, so that anything musical can reach the brain through different pathways. In addition we seem to have a need for the structure rhythm provides. Rhythm helps us organize our reality." p59. This book was very valuable to me in my own healing process. We all go through times when we feel out of sync. Drumming helps us to realign with ourselves and connect to our own heart beat in a grounded way. I drum everyday and I love it. Its just an amazing therapy. I recommend this book highly to all interested.
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on November 29, 2001
This book makes a decent attempt at educating on the benefits of music as a tool in the healing process. However, I was very disappointed at the lack of scholarship and knowledge the author presented. Information that has been know to and practiced by music therapy for years was presented as if the author had discovered a new profession.
Music therapy is the prescribed by professional music therapist that undergo a great deal of education, training, and clinical experience. The author is not a music therapist. I was disappointed at the author's pretend expertise on a subject he is not well educated in.
I recommend that anyone seriously interested in the healing effects of the drum, check out some of the great research and literature out there by REAL music therapists.
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on December 9, 2001
At a time when the concept of rhythm and drumming is being embraced as a health strategy, Robert Lawrence Freidman captures the current landscape of who's who in developing both the science and practice of drumming for healing purposes.
From music therapists and professional percussionists to scientific researchers and medical doctors, Robert has interviewed them all and highlights their work in this excellent book. Also included are Robert's ideas about using drumming for stress reduction and a wonderful resources in the back of the book on activities using rhythm and percussion for health and wellness.
Excellent Excellent Excellent.
Boom - Ba - Boom - Ba - Boom - Boom - Boom. Makes you want to play and helps you understand why.
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on November 5, 2000
A compelling and well written book for anyone interested in mind-body-heart/soul interaction. Robert Friedman does well integrating medicine-science with the deeper rhythms of our being. Mr. Friedman taught me that the drum is no toy but a cross-cultural healing tool. Since reading the book I have begun incorporating Mr. Friedman's music-therapy drumming exercises with my patients;allowing them a new way to express both negitive and positive emotions in their sessions. I found the book to be a wonderful, scholarly (but very enjoyable) treatise.
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