Drum circles; a Ph.D. student’s idea for treating trauma, gets mini-grant funding

Andrea Cooke runs the Cooke Shoppe in Macon, a local store that sells products to promote wellness.

She uses drumming and other forms of artistic expression as a therapeutic outlet.

“What people don’t know about drumming is that it’s really good for people who have anxiety who’ve been severely traumatized. Just drum. It regulates the heart rate,” Cooke said.

Cooke is one of the recipients of the On The Table Conversation to Action mini-grant program, an initiative for On TheTable participants to develop and fund ideas that came from the table conversations.

The Cooke Shoppe already hosts drum circles, but she would like to open them up to the community.

“It [drum circles] would be more incentivized if we could take it to the community that really needs it. Your mood can completely shift from the beginning of the drum circle to the end,” Cooke said. “So people are getting therapy, and they don’t even know that they’re getting therapy.”

In relation to youth violence, Cooke thinks that this form of therapy will be well received by children and can curb violent behavior or tendencies.

She says it’s a “bigger challenge” to work with adults, but it starts by addressing adult trauma.

Cooke said, “I think that we’re a deeply traumatized community. And if we don’t address trauma, then nothing will solve itself.”

This story is a part of Peacing Together, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to youth violence.