One of my main interests is the academic study of the drum set. There are many avenues of study, including coordination, human movement, and music perception. Anyone who plays for even a short amount time certainly knows what a physical workout the drums can be, and it absolutely sharpens parts of your mind…

… but if you Google the subject, you will not find much being done.

Music Cognition studies can be found all over the world, but the problem for drummers is that not too many players go into the academic field… which means not too many players who truly understand the instrument in the research areas asking questions and looking for answers.

This exclusion continues to paint a picture of the instrument as something less than deserving of academic attention. Can you imagine the coordination research that could be done with Jim Chapin’s books alone? How about the advanced coordination and listening skills associated with polyrhythm. Pete Magadini’s works could keep a graduate student busy for quite some time…

I realize that most drummers aren’t likely to head in this direction, but if you have an academic curiosity, it would be an amazing area to pursue. Your contribution to the instrument’s study could push the understanding far beyond what it is today…

If you are curious about this sort of thing, try Googling “music cognition studies” or “rhythm pattern perception”, things like that… if you live near a school where they have any kind of music cognition or music perception studies, go talk to someone and ask them about what they do.

Doing so might open doors you never imagined walking through. I take pride in this interest and curiosity, because I see the drums as an amazing instrument, and I love being involved with it. It might take a generation, but we could engage in some fascinating explorations and still have fun playing…

The future is putty, always waiting to be shaped by those with energized hands…