top of page

At-Risk Adolescents: Behavior Improvents

Learn More

HealthRHYTHMS® Adolescent Protocol

We deliver research-based, high-quality, interactive, at-risk adolescent programs. Our non-threatening, hands-on activities encourage cooperation, communication, and wellness through creative expression. We use the power of music and rhythm to produce non-musical outcomes.


HealthRHYTHMS® Adolescent Protocol is an evidence-based program that has been shown to help at-risk adolescents with the following benefits:


  • Improved school/work role performance

  • Reduced total depression

  • Improved self-evaluation

  • Reduced instrumental anger


Teens who are likely to be more at-risk are usually those that lack a strong support system at home as well as teens who are not coping well with the different challenges that they are facing leading to delinquencies and antisocial behaviors and may exhibit instrumental anger. The lives of too many adolescents have been affected by delinquency offenses, peer pressure, addiction and mental health diagnoses. Finding themselves facing a myriad of legal issues which presents extraordinary challenges to over-stressed social service and juvenile justice systems. 


Evidence-Based HealthRHYTHMS® Adolescent Protocol Demonstrates Statistically Significant Improvements in Instrumental Anger, AKA "The Columbine Effect”.


According to a study published in the June 2009 issue of the medical journal, Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, HealthRHYTHMS® Adolescent Protocol is a highly-effective and cost-efficient strategy to positively affect instrumental anger with at-risk youth. 


Instrumental anger (IA) is the clinical term defined as: negative emotion triggering a delayed response resulting in the desired and planned goal of revenge and retaliation. IA is believed to have precipitated the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, often referred to as the Columbine Effect.


According to principal researcher Barry Bittman, MD, this groundbreaking study has demonstrated statistically significant reduction of instrumental and reactive anger compared to the control group who did not participate in the music-making activities. In addition, improvements in school/work performance, behavior toward others, depression, and interpersonal problems were demonstrated.


"This is an accessible, affordable and sustainable strategy that can positively impact juvenile rehabilitation." 

–Barry Bittman, MD


Building on Dr. Bittman's previous research, this approach involves enhancements to the research-based HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming protocol. This protocol is customized for use with adolescent populations. The HealthRHYTHMS Adolescent Protocol is appropriate for a diverse range of teens including many facing emotional, cognitive or learning challenges. One of the key factors for the success and the diverse application of this program is that this protocol creates an opportunity to participate at the individual’s own level. 


This evidence-based program offers hope that distressed youths may be rehabilitated and also reduce recidivism, Additionally, with the billions of dollars spent annually to isolate juvenile offenders from society, this program can offer a positive economic impact on our overtaxed juvenile justice system. 


"In addition to generating positive societal impact, this unique intervention could save our nation billions of dollars." 

–Barry Bittman, MD


This research demonstrates the incredible transformational power of this group therapeutic drumming program when administered by caring, highly-skilled, trained facilitators. Music-making has been shown to be a catalyst allowing cognitive behavioral therapy to be effective. Recreational music-making strategies such as the HealthRHYTHMS Adolescent Protocol program do not require any prior musical experience of the participants to be effective. This evidence-based program demonstrates the incredible life-changing power of actively music-making as a therapeutic modality and further demonstrating the real value of music. 


The HealthRHYTHMS® Adolescent Protocol is designed to take an adolescent from a resistant, angry and (often) hostile youth, to one who possesses hope, a willingness to give and receive, and a renewed sense of self and their future. This research-based program uses creative, musical expression as a catalyst for nonverbal and verbal disclosure leading to improved quality of life for adolescents.


Erik Dunton is a REMO® HealthRHYTHMS® Trained Group Drumming Facilitator who believes that music should be not only valued as a form of entertainment but also as a vehicle for positive change achieving specific measurable outcomes in the lives of individuals and groups. Erik has worked extensively with at-risk youth in a group setting, providing weekly HealthRHYTHMS sessions at the Oasis Center teen shelter, Nashville, TN.


Kim Scott is a REMO® HealthRHYTHMS® Trained Group Drumming Facilitator and Trained Juvenile Restorative Justice, Inc. (JRJ) Circle Facilitator. Kimberly has facilitated Juvenile Restorative Justice Circles with at-risk youth in the Fayette County School System in Lexington, KY.  Kimberly has a passion for using the power of music to make positive changes in individuals lives. 


REMO® HealthRHYTHMS® is a group drumming protocol supported by research that facilitates communication and personal expression. Participants of HealthRHYTHMS® experience a reduction in stress, improvement in mood states, enhanced creativity and bonding, and more.


Why drumming? 


It may seem surprising, at first, that something as simple as drumming can have such a powerful impact on individual development and wellness. In many ways, drumming is actually a mainstream, rather than an alternative approach to health, development, and wellness. 


In terms of wellness, group therapeutic drumming is really about stress reduction, exercise, self-expression, building connections with other people, and spirituality. 


Webster’s dictionary defines the word wellness as:


    wellness (n) wel•nis:

        the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal - the active pursuit of health


Our evidence-based at-risk adolescent programs and activities are designed to encourage cooperation, communication, and wellness through creative expression. For more information on our exciting at-risk adolescent programs please feel free to contact us .

bottom of page