Causal Rewrite – mrmba1

Long Live Drummers

Of all the ways to extend and increase the quality of one’s life, few would’ve guessed that drumming would help in doing just that. Drummers are typically stereotyped as the wild card or animal of every band- with little help from the muppets. They’re the one that’s in the clouds more than on the ground, and more often than not making questionable and risky life choices. However, compared to other members of a band such as guitar players and vocalists, the drummer is the healthiest of all. Comparable to the likes of cycling and swimming, drumming is a great means of physical exercise. It is also a great mental workout when it comes to coordination, and a perfect social amplifier and medium when it comes to the community of performing music. Assisting in all aspects of health, drumming is a great choice to lead a healthy, long lasting life.

Everyone knows that to be healthy, you must exercise regularly. So it would make sense that being healthy enough to live longer can be attributed to exercise or vigorous physical activity. Through a study performed by the University of Gloucestershire led by S De La Rue and others, drumming- specifically of the rock and pop genres- has been found to have the same physical demands as activities such as “running, cycling, ice and field hockey, and competitive volleyball.” The study took several drummers and gave them a specific beat to play while measuring their heart rates. They found that the peak heart rate of the drummers was around 186bpm, which qualifies drumming as a vigorous physical activity and therefore exercise. “The time spent engaged in vigorous activity is sufficient that there are likely to be long-term health benefits from prolonged participation,” and while the life span of drummers specifically has never been researched, it’s clear that this abundant amount of exercise is only helping their health. Exercise through drumming provides enough METs, which is a measurement of the amount of energy it requires to sit (otherwise known as a metabolic equivalent), to where these individuals that were studied “have a significantly reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular diseases.” From this study it’s clear as to what the physical benefits of drumming are, but physical health isn’t all that attributes to a long lasting life.

Emotional health is just as important, and being immersed in the musical experience of drumming has been proven to assist in this aspect as well. Of course it’s clear to everyone how drumming can be a form of anger management, however it is also a means of meditation. Drumming presents a way for people struggling emotionally to increase the quality of their mood as well as alleviate anxiety. In her article, “Making Music for Mental Health,” Rosie Perkins describes how the act of drumming requires immense concentration, “which can prevent worrying,” it causes “deep breathing, which can counteract anxiety, social support which can reduce feelings of isolation, learning which keeps the mind active, and regular commitment that motivates people to remain active.” For mental health to flourish, it’s understood that five elements are required to do so; positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and a sense of accomplishment, and drumming- even the world of music as a whole- satisfies all aspects. The drumming community alone provides immense support and a sensation of belonging, and the act of creating music through rhythmic drumming is perfect training for the mind. This sense of belonging and meaning through creating music is ideal for those who feel as though they don’t have a place or purpose- emotions that can lead to and cause a variety of mental health issues as well as the possibility of taking one’s own life. Of course there’s not a direct correlation stating that drumming prevents suicide, however those who have outlets and a means of dealing with stress ultimately have more positive thoughts and healthier lives.

Mentally, the drums are heavily reliant on coordination and focus, which are a must have for drummers. This vast amount of cognitive refinement that accompanies drumming is perfect for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, ADD, you name it. Focusing and committing to the drums requires a great deal of concentration and commitment as well, which for many aides in alleviating these irritating and sometimes maddening mental disorders. Maria Kopp discusses in her study, “Where Psychology Meets Physiology,” that high amounts of stress as well as mental turmoil, such as a sense of hopelessness, affect the lifespan of those who suffer, even affecting cardiovascular health. With drumming helping to reduce this stress and help mentally, it can act as a medium in reaching an extended life. Patients suffering from depression and other disorders are often introduced to a drum circle, and following the circle one patient said that “I would go away and I had them [rhythms] in my head… the sound we produced was amazing. I focus on a sort of driving, repetitive thing that I just liked,” which provided an escape. It allows the busy and crowded minds of these individuals to fixate on one task, a task that requires so much concentration that the negatives are drowned out- like meditation. 

To live a long healthy life, all aspects of health must reach a high level of adequacy- physical, mental, and emotional. Drumming, as a medium, assists in all of these aspects. Having an outlet and activity as mentally demanding as drumming assists in cognitive strength and mental health, and being a part of its community and having a sense of purpose through the instrument provides emotional support. The physical benefits are clear as well, comparable to several high intensive activities. Overall, drumming satisfies all necessary subcategories of health, and can lead to a longer, healthier life.


De La Rue, S. E. Energy Expenditure in Rock/ Pop Drumming. 2013. 

Kopp S., Maria. Where psychology meets physiology: chronic stress and premature mortality. 2003.

Perkins, Rosie. Making music for mental health: how group drumming mediates recovery. 2016. 

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6 Responses to Causal Rewrite – mrmba1

  1. davidbdale says:

    First thing I notice: we don’t use parenthetical citation notes in this class. I’ve crossed them out.
    Refer instead to the APA Citation post.

    APA Citation


  2. davidbdale says:

    I noticed also your links. Thank you for those.


  3. davidbdale says:

    You write well, MBA, so we’ll leave any discussion of your language use, grammar, and punctuation for a later draft in favor of spending time today on your arguments and scholarship.
    P2: Health Benefits
    —You make a comparison between drumming and running (cycling, etc.) to prove that drumming extends life without first proving that the comparable physical activities prolong life. Maybe you want to take it for granted, but not every reader will.
    —(There’s an additional underlying assumption that you literally take for granted: to be healthy, you must exercise regularly.) Maybe it doesn’t need proof, but again, not every reader will be as generous as you wish.
    —Several drummers elevated their heart rates by drumming. So drumming CAN BE strenuous enough to qualify as exercise.
    —For some unspecified set of drummers, apparently those who drum QUITE A LOT, “The time spent engaged in vigorous activity is sufficient that there are likely to be long-term health benefits from prolonged participation.” You SUGGEST, but you don’t actually SAY that this sentence applies to drummers of any kind. It just connects activity and benefits.
    —When you speak of measured METs, are your “these individuals” the same few who were studied at Gloucestershire? If so, did the researchers conclude that they “have a significantly reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular diseases” MERELY on the basis of measuring their elevated bpm during the experiment?

    I don’t have any particular reason to doubt anything you’re claiming here, MBA, but you can’t take for granted that you’ll receive the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this source is all you need; maybe it’s really powerful for most readers, but it’s not an obvious slam dunk.


  4. davidbdale says:

    P3. Emotional health
    I’m unsure why you think drumming is and obvious anger management tactic. I might not have objected at all except you told me it was clear, so I applied a stricter evaluation to your claim. It’s not clear to me.
    —I do love the idea that drumming eliminates worrying by crowding it from the brain. One might also claim it’s impossible to write sonnets while drumming, or plan a vacation, or appreciate music, while drumming, and for the same reason. Drummers are too busy using their entire brains keeping time. The new question would be: when they’re finished, do they go right back to worrying? Or do you claim that there’s a lasting benefit? One last point on this claim: you compared it to meditation, but you dropped that comparison and haven’t redeemed it.
    —The other benefits you derive from the Perkins source are not the benefits of drumming; they’re the benefits of being in a band. You should be careful to acknowledge that you’re aware of the difference; otherwise, careful readers will think you’re trying to manipulate them.
    —You’re clever to “force-sell” your premises, MBA. I feel the pressure every time, so you might have to work on covering your tracks. The latest example is “it’s understood that five elements are required.” Nobody inherently understands this. But we might be able to “allow it” even without your declaration that it’s universally known.
    —You partly redeem your earlier over-claiming by acknowledging that Perkins’ five elements are mostly achieved by being in a band, not merely by physically drumming.
    —Your two sentence argument that social drumming prevents or counteracts all sorts of mental health dangers is very nicely done.
    —So is your transition AWAY from the overclaim that “drumming prevents suicide.”
    —An effective paragraph overall.


  5. davidbdale says:

    P4. Mental Health

    —I’m going to ask again whether drumming provides symptom relief before and after drumming sessions, or whether it provides only a respite from: anxiety, depression, ADD, you name it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with respite, but drummers might easily be depressed and anxious UNLESS they’re drumming, right?)
    —Not sure what your “Focusing and committing” sentence adds. ​
    —I think you’re probably right at least informally, but you do take BIG steps to move from: Drumming relaxes Animal; therefore, he will live longer. I’m sure you’re aware of that.
    —For me, the drum circle example is a better setup to some of your big conclusions than a conclusion in itself. It’s a clever bit of soft data that could make the BIG steps seem a little easier to climb.
    —That’s a VERY long fuse on the meditation payoff. I’m glad to see it, but it might have to move to the paragraph where you first mentioned meditation.


  6. davidbdale says:

    All the above notwithstanding, this is an accomplished first draft, MBA. I hope you’ll take the advice seriously, but I do want to reiterate you’re doing fine work. I’ve posted a grade at Canvas for this draft. The next step is to respond and acknowledge you’ve received your feedback. Then make substantial revisions and ask for a Regrade. You may also receive further responses to specific questions by putting your post back into the Feedback Please category.


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