Lesson 20: Equipment Required and Safety Tips

Equipment Required

Before beginning the Drums Alive® program one needs to know what type of equipment is best suited for the participating population. In addition, basic drumming and movement skills need to be learned before combining the locomotor movement with rhythmical drumming skills.

NOTE: You can purchase official Drums Alive equipment from our exclusive distributor, West Music: 



1. Stability Ball AND Ball holder/Ball stand/ Step Risers (Use only an Anti-Burst, Burst-Resistant, or Burst Free ball.)

It is important to ensure that the circumference of the ball fits the ball holder. The combination of ball and ball holder should ensure that the cumulative height of the two allows the participant to drum without excessive forward flexion of the spine.

* A general rule should be that the ball reaches just below the belly button or allows the arms to be held at approximately a 45-degree angle. 

Alternative Ball

  • Garbage that’s tipped over
  • Large and tall cardboard box
  • Chair with an exercise mat over it
  • Fitness step with an exercise mat over it

There are many different ways to hold the stability ball in place. Choosing a ball holder is important to ensure safety, correct technique, and body alignment. Make sure safety precautions for the holder are discussed before beginning the program. Make sure the ball holder has the proper dimensions and height and is the appropriate holder for the participating population.

  • Proper Dimensions – the dimension of the ball holder should fit the dimensions of the ball you have chosen to avoid the ball rolling off the holder.
  • Proper Height – When working with adjustable ball holders, such as step risers, pay particular attention to the height of the risers.
  • Choose enough risers to raise the ball to a comfortable height when drumming. Participants should be able to have an erect back when standing in a good base position (see “Basic Drumming and Locomotor Skills” in Lesson 22).
  • Allow participants to add or take away risers in order to reach a comfortable and safe position.
  • Proper Holder – when working with children make sure the ball holder will stay in place and not topple over when children are sitting, lying, or playing on the ball.


The most common holders are:

  Floor Holder                                                    Step Risers                                               Stacking Ring

Bucket Base



Alternative Ball Holders

  • Beach towels clipped together with a clothespin
  • Laundry basket
  • Garbage can large enough to hold the ball
  • Silicone Buckets
  • Swim Ring