CDs, books and DVDs
Good news: my new book is now live on Amazon (effective today)! The title is *Feeling the Call: Therapeutic Uses of Traditional West-African Drumming*. The book explores how this form of drumming has been effectively used by a practicing psychotherapist with a variety of populations: persons with addiction, mood disorders, other life challenges, and at-risk youth.

Here's the link: ... s=Kastberg

I'm very excited! This has been a labor of love, to be sure. I'm proud of getting it done and I hope it makes a difference in some small way in someone's life/lives. One can dream! Please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested.

Signe M. Kastberg PhD
I'd like to see some intro to the book and maybe the list of chapters and some peak inside, like a few important paragraphs or pages or concepts etc.

I'd wonder is it more like the therapeutic benefits of community drumming rather than West African percussion. It would be interesting to see where is the link between West African percussion and psychotherapy. I know that the rhythms/parts can be utilized by community drumming groups. But are we really talking about real West African standards, Like teaching people how to drum like Africans do for ceremonies and celebrations in African streets and villages.

Does the book discuss the effects of sound on the body or the mind and look at percussion from that perspective or is it based on benefits of collective activities/team work, or does it go into the benefits of learning abstract rhythmic concepts like what exist in Djembe drumming.

What ethnic groups drumming is the book based on. Have you found evidence of therapeutic benefits being used by African communities through music and dance.

It is interesting as it does play a vital role in African culture and is present at all social events. Interesting to see what you discovered about the therapeutic effects on people.

I'd see non Africans use of percussion as being different than that of Africans. We all drum and few dance, while in Africa few drum and more people dance. But the whole village must enjoy the music. I've never met anyone in Gambia who didn't respect percussion. Everyone ones like 'it makes me feel happy. ''Gives me power.'

I've been attempting to dance and practice a bit of African style dance movement and i find it great and even better than drumming for health.
Apologies for the very late reply; for some reason I didn't receive notification of these emails about my book. So to answer some questions:
I've been drumming for about 15 years now; so I'm still learning! I've been using it therapeutically for probably 10 years with various populations. Yes, there is the option on Amazon to view some sample sections of the book, and there's also a 5-star review from Wolf Murphy. Here's the link: ... way&sr=8-1

The book includes a good deal of research from the literature on therapeutic benefits; also a good deal about the role of culture.
Drumming is a dynamic and evolving cultural artifact: while the basic foundation of the songs remain the same, there are clearly changes over time. The role and function of the songs in Africa is important, and similarly foundational to how I see it as beneficial here in the US. You're right; there is a lot of drumming and not as much dancing here, which turns the paradigm on its head ... BUT when the whole group/community is involved, that gets to the heart of why it works, IMHO.
I am always glad to receive feedback about the book and to continue the conversation. Thanks!

Signe K.