The Flatbush Drum Clinic was founded on the idea that drumming can serve multiple functions:
1. To provide a pulse for music and serve as a rhythmic instrument of time-keeping to keep the band in sync. FDC specializes in a diverse set of cross-pollinating grooves from linear funk, rock, Jewish music, fusion, jazz, dubstep, hip hop, middle eastern, latin styles, Baio, New Orleans 2nd Line and more.
2. As a mechanism for enhanced well being. A daily practice and mind-body exercise unlike any other. Drumming uses cognitive processes involving tone recognition, rhythm, time awareness, coordination, kinesthetic movement, aesthetics, and pattern recognition. Drumming involves the entire body in both broad and fine-tuned movements. It has the widest dynamic range of any instrument. It is both the loudest and quietest instrument.
3. As an adjunctive and alternative therapy for help with ADHD, mood, anxiety and other issues in its capacity for brain entrainment, enhanced executive function, hemispheric synchronization and neurotransmitter elevation (dopamine, norepinepherine, serotonin, and acetylcholine). There is a good deal of research on the neuroscience of drumming and right/left brain body synchronization exercises underlie the Brain Gym model for ADHD. Drumming is also used in many rehab facilities and alternative healing programs.
4. As a way of learning about process, the accumulated power of many small steps, learning an instrument at FDC involves special emphasis on patience, distress tolerance and persistence. Playing the drumset, djembe, cajon, or bass is also a way of connecting with the energetic center and primal pulse for enhanced mind-body connection. Learning and playing drums offers many metaphorical levels of understanding which can be applied generally to other areas of life and positively support personality and character development and connection to others.
The Flatbush Drum Clinic was started in Nov 2010 by Zev Elman, LMSW, after some years as a producer, composer/bassist and drummer having worked with many artists and bands, including original music and cover bands, weddings, etc. His work included a collaboration as producer/co-writer/drummer with experimental songwriter, I. Khachewatsky with whom he established a global following on Pandora, Jango and Spotify for an experimental rock project which received awards for rhythm, originality, and arrangement on Garageband (now Jango.) He also composed a solo piano album called, 'The Faintest Whisper Is Deafening' currently streamed on Pandora Radio and available on itunes. Zev spent several years studying with late drummer and Brooklyn teacher, Normie Wayne, who introduced him to the experimental and linear drumming of David Garibaldi and Rick Latham which led to the study of many other drummers and music.
On a therapeutic level, the Flatbush Drum Clinic was inspired by Mr. Elman's work as a therapist in the PTSD clinic in a VA hospital, at JASA, JBFCS and other community clinics and mental health settings where the need for a therapeutic approach that combined mind-body work and creativity was apparent and too often unmet. The idea of drumming for its mental health benefits also emerged from self-observation and later neuroscience research in use of different grooves, rudiments and solos as a unique meditative and mind-body tool. Further insight into drumming continues to accrue through teaching and collaboration with other music therapists, musicians and students.
Music and sound as a therapeutic and healing tool has been vastly underutilized in the Brooklyn mental health and educational communities as first line treatments for many disorders have favored Cognitive talk therapies and/or medication which produce mixed results and often relapse when discontinued. Drum therapy, like exercise, a proven antidepressant, is a natural and self-applied therapy with long term benefits which augments traditional therapies or obviate their need. Currently, FDC is based out of a studio in the heart of Midwood and a second location in Gowanus.