How is Body Percussion Good for the Brain?
Clapping, snapping, and tapping one’s body can teach rhythm and enliven a musical performance. And, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, body percussion is also being used to make people feel better.
Susan Lewis: You can make a lot of sounds just by tapping different parts of your body. Get a lot of people together doing choreographed moves, and you have a performance.
But that’s not all.
Ethnomusicologist Javier Romero, now based at the University of Alicante in Spain, was intrigued by the African practice of treating pain with movement, and by the way different cultures view the relationship between music and movement.
Javier Romero: Our music is in the brain, and the body is for technique. If we travel to Africa, it’s the opposite; the body is first and the brain is after.
SL: He calls his method of body percussion BAPNE.
JR: Biomechanic Anatomy Psychology Neuroscience and Ethnomusicology.
SL: BAPNE exercises use hands, feet. and vocal sounds in different sequence to stimulate executive functions, such as concentration, memory, impulse and motor control.
JR: You have to move your feet, you have to move your hands, and you have to speak - three different things together. If we change the activity every three minutes, your brain is high attention all the time.
SL: Romero conducts research into the various applications of his method, from health care to teaching rhythms to young musicians, to improving memory and concentration in the general population.