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The Ronnie Gardiner Method was developed by American jazz drummer Ronnie Gardiner in the eighties. He wanted to develop a method that could be used to help children in their musical and motor development. However, it soon became clear that the method was very suitable to use for people with disorders of the central nervous system (eg stroke, Parkinson's disease, MS and dementia). In Sweden (where Ronnie Gardiner has lived and worked for 50 years), he began training physiotherapists, speech therapists, music therapists and primary school teachers to become leaders in 1993. Since then, the method has been used in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, clinics and schools. Despite his old age (he was born in 1932), Ronnie travels a lot to train new leaders in other countries. Apart from Sweden, RGM has so far been used in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Norway, England, Israel, Hungary and New Zealand. Spain, Portugal and Canada are about to have their first courses. Note: Initially the method was called RGRM. In 2013, the name was changed to RGM

RGM uses playful rhythm, music, movement, speech, hearing, sight and feeling. During the exercise, the participant reads the symbols and "translates" them into the corresponding movement, which is performed to rhythmic music. The color of a symbol indicates whether the movement should be performed with the right, left or with both sides. The RGM leader uses the symbols to compose exercises (choreoscores), tailored to a target group and to music that suits this target group. When performing the movement associated with a specific symbol, one also pronounces the name of this symbol. This activates many different brain areas at the same time. It may sound complicated, but the exercises are built up gradually over time and are adapted to the group's (or individual's) level. RGM can be adapted to (almost) all levels, from very simple to very complex exercises, depending on what the target group can handle. The music is also adapted (as best as possible) to the taste of the participants and a tempo (BPM) is chosen that suits the target group.

Ronnie Screenshot.JPG


During the exercises, the participants read symbols (visual cortex) which are translated into a movement (prefrontal cortex and both temporal lobes), movements are alternated (motor cortex, left and right), words are pronounced simultaneously (language/speech center in the left hemisphere) and are listened to - and tuned to - music (including the auditory cortex, limbic system and cerebellum), many different brain areas are activated simultaneously. This ensures construction of new and strengthening of existing neural networks and for more/better connections in the corpus callosum (brain stem). After all, “neurones that fire together, wire together”, ie. neurons that are activated together strengthen their connection.

The Story of Ronnie Gardiner: Jazz drummer and creator of the Ronnie Gardiner Method

Ronnie is a successful jazz drummer, he played with Charlie Norman, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan and Benny Carter among others.
A personal tragedy in 1980 made Ronnie decide to use his talent in a different way, a way that could help others. Over a period of 13 years, he created and developed his training method through a lot of research and conversations with experts from the world of neuroscience.

Despite his advanced age (he was born in 1932), Ronnie still travels extensively to train new RGM practitioners and hold workshops and lectures. In addition, he often performs in Sweden with his own Ronnie Gardiner Quartet and is regularly asked to play with a variety of other jazz bands.

Ronnie at Tellus Stockholm

October 2021


The purpose of the association is to gather people who work according to the RGM method and to create a forum for the exchange of experience where the interests of the association are taken care of, and with the special objective of spreading knowledge about the method through lectures and courses. The association must also represent Sweden in international RGM contexts.

-In September this year, the members of our association gathered for the very first membership day. The goal is to meet and exchange experiences, discuss the association's opportunities and challenges going forward. A very successful, inspiring and fun member's day with interesting lectures and lots of music. Ronnie's trio played and many of our members jumped at the chance to sing with the band!

-Now it's time for RGM Sweden's second annual meeting! This will take place on Saturday 21 October at 10.00-12.00 digitally via Zoom

Do you want to become a member?

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