Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Supervisor

Dr Helen Rusak

Second Supervisor

Tim White


Some arts programmes have used drum-circle techniques with the aim of facilitating personal and social change. These include those developed by Arthur Hull in the USA (Hull & Marie, 2014) and Drumbeat projects in Australia (Martin, Wood, Tasker & Coletsis, 2014). There is, however, limited research in the field and none that focuses explicitly on females in pre-release detention facilities. In exploring a range of creative drumcircle activities, informed by theories and practices from music therapy, community music settings and arts programmes in prisons, the present study examines the impact of participation in a ten-week drumming project upon women’s senses of wellbeing, and upon personal and social change. Findings are theorised using Seligman’s PERMA model of wellbeing (Seligman, 2002) and DeNora’s theory of Musical Events (2000, 2003). They illustrate music’s agency in personal and social behaviour and provide additional evidence for the advocacy of musical engagement in prison facilities.


Thesis Location