Professor Steve Williams

Steve Williams drumming pilot Kings Jan 2014

(Head of Department of Neuroimaging, King’s College London)


Steve is a world leading neuroscientist who has become increasingly interested in using drumming as an intervention in brain disorder research. At the 2009 Cheltenham Science Festival Steve presented for the first time a theoretical model highlighting why drumming has great appeal to a neuroscientist in a research context.


Presentation highlighting the neuroscience interest in drumming.

In 2012 Steve was an invited speaker at the 2012 International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS). The audience were introduced to the potential changes in brain structure and function following drumming practice.


Neuroscience and drumming, ICSEMIS 2012.

Steve, along with colleagues at the CBDP, devised a series of drumming based neuroscience studies. In 2014 a significant research grant was awarded by the Waterloo Foundation Charity.


Significant collaboration established between the Waterloo Foundation and CBDP.


This allowed for the first drumming based Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) study to be undertaken at Kings College London among healthy volunteers. This ‘proof of concept‘ investigation showed that drumming practice can have a positive effect on brain structure and function.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at Kings College London


The findings of the first Waterloo Foundation funded project was published in the prestigious neuroscience journal ‘Cerebral Cortex‘ in 2016.


Ali paper2016


In 2017 Steve was interviewed at the University of Chichester by SKYARTS about the potential therapeutic benefit of drumming across a range of brain disorders. Steve shared recent research findings and highlighted other future areas of interest.  


Steve being interviewed by SKYARTS as part of the documentary about Clem’s life as a drummer.


Following the positive findings of the ‘proof of concept‘ study Steve secured further funding in 2017 from the Waterloo Foundation to undertake a study focused on young adults with autism.


Drumming and autism project funded by the Waterloo Foundation.


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