A man stands smiling behind two young drum students.

Drummer Bennicent Agbodzie, dressed in a brown, blue and white print Ghanian costume, stands proudly smiling behind two of his young students, also dressed in orange and multi colored striped costumes. One boy stands playing large drums with sticks. The other is seated to play a medium sized drum and looks back toward his teacher.

VSA Vermont Acquires Sound-Adapted Drums

With a grant from the Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation and assistance from Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc., VSA Vermont has been able to purchase sound-adapted drums:  four, 22-inch drum tables and two, 30-inch drum tables. These new percussion instruments use Comfort Sound Technology, specifically to aid as a tool for people with sound sensitivities. The drums were developed with input from music therapists, clinicians, and other educators that wanted adapted instruments to further access their students and clients’ greater health, therapeutic, learning, and recreational needs.

In early 2015, the drum makers at Remo Inc. released Comfort Sound Technology, a drumhead composite material designed to deliver a unique quality of sound by suppressing high-frequency overtones. These specialty drums have a BIG vibration with a focused, controlled sound that delivers beautiful tone, while remaining accessible for individuals or groups with sound sensitivities.

According to Alyssa Janney, Health Program Development and Marketing Manager for Remo, Inc., “Strong vibration, shortened decay, and focused low frequencies provide a comfortable sound that is not overstimulating, and is described as ‘irresistible.’” Janney notes that “There are no wrong notes on these drum tables. Rhythm can be used to orchestrate a better quality of life without requiring mastery of the instrument.”

Cognitive studies are suggesting that being able to synchronize to an external beat may correlate not only to improved health, but also to better language and reading skills. Furthermore these drum tables fits in virtually any music activity for any group for recreation, education, or therapy, and are particularly effective for individuals with autism, Alzheimer’s, and dementias.

VSA Vermont will be demonstrating these new drum tables at its October 4th BOOM VT Drum Festival at the Fletcher Free Library. Come try out these drums for yourself and let us know what you think.  At VSA Vermont, art beats for all!

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