Clem Burke Drumming Project

News Archive

Well-Being ConferenceWELL-BEING CONFERENCE, Monday 18th July 2011

Rock n roll in the classroom. Dr Marcus Smith (Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chichester) is to present unique research findings at the 2011 Wellbeing International Conference in Birmingham on Monday 18th July. The study recruited 18 children from a local primary school aged 7-8 years. Nine children were identified as having Additional Education Needs (AEN), with the other 9 pupils selected as matched controls. Following a 5 week drumming intervention the data showed improvements in classroom behaviour, self confidence and interaction with teachers amongst the AEN group. Discussions are now under way with external academic and commercial partners to secure funding to enable this work to develop in the future. Find out more>>

Dr Marcus Smith and Dr Steve Draper to speak at the BIORHYTHM LIVE event on Thursday, 9th September 2010.


Dr Smith said: The Biorhythm Live event offers the Clem Burke Drumming Project a fantastic opportunity to share our research findings on the physical demands of the rock and pop drummer with the general public. Our presentation will raise the question of whether the modern day rock and pop drummer should be considered an athlete as well as an artist.

Dr Steve Draper added: It is a privilege to speak at such a prestigious and exciting event as Biorhythm Live. In addition to presenting previous data and demonstrating the methods we use for physiological assessment of drummers, we will also give an exclusive insight into more recent findings and future directions for our research.

The series will bring elements of the BIORHYTHM exhibition to life through themed nights focusing on Rhythm, Emotion and Voice with some of the world’s top performers, scientists and industry professionals exploring how our bodies respond to music. Science Gallery is all about inspiring young people with a passion for science and the arts through creative projects at this interface. Read more>>

Dr Marcus Smith and Dr Steve Draper to present at the international ‘Games for Health’ Conference in Boston, May 25-27, 2010.

Dr. Marcus Smith (Principal Lecturer & Field Leader in Exercise Physiology, University of Chichester) and Dr Chris Potter (Director of Studies for the Undergraduate Sport Programmes) at the University of Gloucestershire, teaching Sport and Exercise Physiology, will be talking about the health benefits of drumming.

The Conference looks at initiatives which support community, knowledge & business development efforts to use cutting-edge games and game technologies to improve health and health care. Topics include active gaming, rehabilitation and physical therapy, disease management, health behaviour change, bio-feedback, training, cognitive exercise, nutrition & health education. Read more>>

Dr. Marcus Smith will be presenting research from the Clem Burke Drumming Project which was officially launched in 2008. Dr Smith has worked with Clem, the drummer with pop legends Blondie, for over 10-years. High energy expenditure values reflect the true physical challenge to the acoustic drummer during live performances. Whereas heart rate data recorded whilst drumming during a typical 90 minute show were similar to those recorded for premier league football players. At the ‘Games for Health Conference’ Dr Smith, along with colleague Dr. Chris Potter (University of Gloucestershire), will demonstrate an incremental drumming test to exhaustion on the drummer from the rockband Extreme, Kevin Figueiredo. The data, using state of the art sports science equipment, will illustrate the physical demands of playing an acoustic drum kit. A gaming enthusiast playing the most challenging drum solos on the latest version of the interactive video game Rock Band will also be tested to exhaustion. Differences, and the implications, in physiological responses to playing each type of drum kit will be discussed. Dr. Smith said: “We want to challenge the gaming industry to consider the type of hardware and software developments required to further enhance the experience of playing an interactive video game based drum kit. We also want to look at the potential of using interactive drumming based video games to enhance health and well-being in an education and non-education environment”.

London Internatinoal Music ShowBanging the drum for health, well-being and fitness at the London International Music Show 2009

Those visiting LIMS will witness the appliance of science to drumming as Darrin Mooney (drummer, Primal Scream) puts himself through an incremental drumming test to exhaustion whilst wearing the latest ‘state-of-the-art’ sports science technology. Watch in amazement as he battles to keep pace with the ultimate drum test. This will be an event you will never forget. Visit website for more information

Cheltham Science Fesitval

Darrin Mooney

Darrin Mooney, drummer Primal Scream, said: This test is going to be very interesting to me because over the last six years or so Primal Screams’ music and touring schedule have become much more intense which means I have to take many more things into consideration like my diet, enough sleep, and as I have got older I have even adjusted my set up to try and relieve unwanted muscle and joint stress. I know it sounds strange but I as I am getting older I am finding playing a two hour , very fast show, easier and easier. I put this down to practicing almost every day for four hours in between tours, which saves any trips to the gym. I also believe the mental challenge of playing the drums to a high standard gives the brain a very unique workout, as you are telling and forcing your brain to do things it’s really not wired to do naturally, and with all four limbs. Over the years I have had to work out systems which allow my brain to learn complicated rhythms and patterns, some days after practicing I feel mentally tired as well as physically tired. Read more>>

Dr Marcus Smith and Dr Chris Potter attend the international ‘Games for Health’ Conference in Boston. Read more>>

Games for Health

‘From Game to Gig’ University of Chichester

‘From Game to Gig’ University of Chichester, The ShowRoom, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester. Research project on the physiology of drumming to work with Guitar Hero World Tour drum kit controller. Read more >>