«DrumPower Against Violence» – Violence Prevention,
Social Integration and Empowerment through Music

We are happy to present the work and scientific results of our method «DrumPower – Violence Prevention and Social Integration through Music». It illustrates the result of four years of research work, practical work in music therapy and the adaptation to various school types. Today, «DrumPower»can be implemented in various types of secondary schools and tailored to suit various needs.

Presentation: Children of the music school Wolfratshausen,
Yoshihita Matthias Kinoshita, Andreas Wölfl
Speaker: Alexandra Martini
Direction and editing: Michael Siebert
Cameraman: Edwin Krieg
First cameraman assistent: Paul Krehan

This concept's fundamental idea is to utilise musical improvisation in order to have an impact on the prevention of violence as well as social integration. To that end we give children and adolescents the chance – with mostly rhythmical instruments – to articulate themselves musically. In the process, they can express emotional states and aggressive tension concurrently, as well as control these in their interactions with one another. In this way, harmony, regulated physical tension, and a positive experience of oneself and the group can be developed.

DrumPower Against Violenc

Rhythmical drumming using simple instructions
has a motivating effect.

This method conveys, in a creative manner, positive qualities of experience at various conscious and unconscious levels. Themes related to regulation of affect and aggression, conflict situations and disagreement, avoidance of and defence against threats, are musically enacted and practised in class. With the help of music's aggressive qualities of expression, destructive and constructive forms of aggression can be differentiated, and ways of dealing constructively with these can be found.

Creative discussion relating to these themes promotes mutual respect, acceptance of individual differences, and social integration.

This method provides various formats which are implemented in primary as well as secondary schools at various year levels. It improves, in all classes, one's ability to solve conflict. Even in classes with different languages and cultures, such divides can be overcome through the shared group experience of these rhythmical improvisations. Despite language and social differences, an emotionally stable sense of community develops, even without words – experienced through acting and supported therapeutically. This is built upon and continued within project work and during everyday school life. On the whole, this strengthens one's sense of belonging in the classroom community, individual creative potential, as well as the ability to work towards a goal as a team.

By supporting students' musical and emotional capabilities, their individual potential to problem-solve as well as their self-confidence are particularly strengthened.

This project is designed as a programme of primary violence prevention for the support of teachers, in order to work creatively in class on themes such as violence, aggression and conflict, using musical means. Participating teachers have given the project only positive reviews and, in their opinion, it should become an integral part of the school curriculum.

«Music has been used as a preventative force since the beginning of time and across all cultures. Today it is also used in particular as an avenue for inter-cultural understanding and empowerment. Preventative methods in music therapy such as «DrumPower»achieve, especially in view of our societal challenges, diverse meaning and applications.»

Prof. Dr. Dorothee von Moreau
Dean, Music Therapy Masters Degree Programme
and Director of the Music Therapy Teaching Clinic at the SRH College Heidelberg