Christmas lecture at Hartpury University

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
The first ever Hartpury University Christmas lecture will use live music and science to explain the benefits of drumming for the human mind.

In what promises to be a lecture with a difference, Hartpury University is about to launch the first in a series of Christmas lectures – a heady mix of music and science, focusing on the benefits of drumming on the human mind.

The event will showcase the findings of ground-breaking neuroscience research involving the university, revealing the benefits of drumming for people with autism spectrum disorder.

Professor Stephen Draper, academic dean at the university, will lead the event by exploring the story of the influential Clem Burke Drumming Project through music and in the form of a festive quiz.

Guest drummer DJ Stephani B will perform and Gloucestershire-based music business Inspire Drums will also be part of the event.

The project was co-founded in 2008 by legendary Blondie drummer Clem Burke (ranked by Rolling Stone magazine in its top 100 drummers of all time), as well as Professor Draper and Professor Marcus Smith from the University of Chichester.

It began as an attempt to examine the physiological demands of playing the drums ‘live’ during one-off (Glastonbury) and multiple gigs (world tours), and grew quickly into exploring the physical, mental and health benefits of drumming.

Professor Draper will discuss the formation of the project, showing how the team worked with rock and pop drummers along the way and will explain the neuroscience behind the act of learning to drum and its impact on autism spectrum disorder and other populations.

The research for the project by Hartpury, submitted as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 process, was recognised as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’, placing the Gloucestershire university among a prestigious group of well-established institutions.

Members of the public can attend the event for free, but will need to register via Eventbrite (see link below). Mulled wine, mince pies and plenty of drumming are promised - including opportunities to have a go yourself!


Drumming into Christmas: Science of Drumming and Wellbeing


Thursday 15 December 2022


7pm (6.30pm arrival) to 8.30pm


Free. Guests are asked to donate to the Heart Heroes ‘I Can Drum’ initiative that brings physical activity through drumming to children with congenital heart conditions.


(01452) 702100

In partnership with Hartpury University and Hartpury College  |

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