Ashton Mason

Student NameAshton Mason
Faculty Mentor NameJill Sonke
CollegeCollege of the Arts
MajorArts in Medicine
Research InterestsWellbeing and Health; The Percussive Arts
Academic AwardsMichael Pirie Memorial Scholarship 2017; University Scholars Program 2020
Hobbies and InterestsBoard Games; Playing Percussion; Disney; Baking;

Research Project

Drum Circles and its Effect on Wellbeing in Community Health Settings?

Mental wellbeing is at the forefront of many health research studies and with the support of the field of arts in health, researchers have discovered artistic outlets to support wellbeing in individuals in community settings. The arts in health field provides a wide range of artistic disciplines with music being a popular tool, specifically percussion. Percussion allows participants to have a “hands-on” musical experience that is built around healing fundamental elements that has been popular across cultures. Simon Faulkner and Daisy Fancourt have both conducted research studies to explore the facilitation of group drumming and its effect on wellbeing. I will use their work as a reference for this research project making sure it stays within the scope of practice in the arts in health field. Staying within the scope of the field will be accomplished by clear participant centered exercises with the goal of increasing wellbeing. It will not be for the purpose of therapeutic or other clinical results.

The goal of this project is to determine the effectiveness of community-based drum circles on the wellbeing of participants.

This research project will utilize a mixed methods design. I will utilize the Warkwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale to collect quantitative data to explore the difference between the participants wellbeing before and after participating in an eight-week drumming circle that will meet once a week. I will also facilitate a focus group after at the end of the series of classes to code the responses and conduct a thematic analysis to determine key themes exploring how or in what ways the drum circle impacts wellbeing.

This study strives to positively impact community members within Gainesville, Florida. The outcomes of this study will also provide credibility to other research conducted in relation to percussion in the context of the arts in health field. The research will present clear definitions of procedural methods and outcomes with the hope of replicability in other community settings.