Tourette Syndrome and Music:
Discovering Peace Through Rhythm and Tone
In 2010, I began conducting drum set/drum circle demonstrations in Southern California for young people with Tourette's, sharing examples of how music and drumming had helped me throughout my life. I soon realized that what I really wanted to do was share that message in print, and then speak and play at Tourette Syndrome support groups in the U.S. and around the world.
My music autobiography expands on "Rhythm Man," a short story I wrote in 1992 about how music and drumming had helped me, which was published in a collection of stories written by people with Tourettes's called Don't Think About Monkeys (Hope Press). From age 6 to 20, I had no idea what was making my body move so uncontrollably, and during that time, music was the single most stabilizing force in my life, the means to cope with something that was sometimes very far beyond my control.
In addition to the relief I found from playing the drums, I learned to play several other instruments, including bass guitar, electric and acoustic guitar, and keyboards. I talk about this, as well as how the instruments actually feel, and how you can experiment with them. I also discuss many deeper aspects of drumming, how I became involved with drum circles, the people who shaped my musical world, and some of the best musicial highlights along the way.
The foreword was written by Loire Cotler, reknowned rhythmic vocalist and music therapist, and I am so grateful for her kind and insightful offering. My hope is to spread the message of how helpful music was to me in dealing with Tourette's and to inspire others to explore its positive benefits. If you have Tourette's and have ever considered exploring music, by all means, give it a shot and just play!
For more detailed information on the book, please visit www.RollinsonPublishing.com
For information on my personal project to promote music as therapy for Tourette's, please visit www.TouretteSyndromeandMusic.com