White Paper – mrmba1

Working Hypothesis:

  • Learning and playing music through drumming or otherwise have positive effects on musicians’ lives.
  • Edited: Performing and practicing musicians live a longer, healthier life.

Source 1: Berchicci, Marika. “Benefits of Physical Exercise on the Aging Brain: The Role of the Prefrontal Cortex.” 2013. https://bit.ly/3vLcyyH

This study done by the Department of Human Movement at the University of Rome discusses and discovers that increased physical activity in later stages of life can help to preserve brain function, especially in the prefrontal cortex. This can be used to tie exercise to mental benefits before tying exercise to drumming and finally drumming to these benefits.

Source 2: Britton, Luke Morgan. “Insomnia, Anxiety, Break-ups… Musicians on the dark side of touring.” The Guardian. 2015. https://bit.ly/3wGzYGy

Discusses the straining mental demands of professional musicians as well as how it negatively impacts their social life. This source can be used to actually emphasize the positive mental and social impacts of being a professional or touring drummer.

Source 3: De La Rue, S. E. Energy Expenditure in Rock/ Pop Drumming. 2013. https://bit.ly/39qRuVl

Discusses the rigorous physical exertion found from drumming, and compares drumming to multiple “real” sports such as swimming or cycling. It continues to describe a study incorporating several drummers of many ages and skill levels that aimed to identify the amount of energy used as well as how physically demanding drumming actually is, and if it qualifies as exercise. This can be used to highlight many of the positive physical effects that drumming can have on people.

Source 4: Halevi-Katz, Dana N. “Exposure to music and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among professional pop/rock/jazz musicians.” 2015. https://bit.ly/3nQeIKG

This article described the immense amounts of sound waves that come from being a professional musician or even a casual drummer and how damaging they can be on the players’ ears. This can be used to provide the dual purpose of introducing a negative effect of drumming (hearing loss), as well as the steps required to prevent this negative from happening in the first place.

Source 5: Holt-Lunstad. “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta- Analytic Review.” 2015. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691614568352

The study discussed the negative impact of social isolation, and found that humans who lacked meaningful social interactions had a higher risk of heart diseases, and in turn a higher risk for early mortality. Since professional drummers often require many hours of practice and can easily get lost in this practice. This can be used to display the argument that points out the possible devastating social effects of being a professional drummer.

Source 6:

Source 6: Kopp S., Maria. Where psychology meets physiology: chronic stress and premature mortality. 2003. https://bit.ly/3szmFp

This study found that high levels of stress led to premature death and other health risks. A simple yet powerful conclusion, this evidence was used in my rebuttal when discussing the dangerous mental effects of being a drummer. Being the drummer requires a lot of responsibility which can come with immense amounts of stress, and this study displays the effect of that stress. This can be used to explain the negative aspects of stress that come with being a professional drummer or other musician that’s relied upon.

Source 7: Penedo, Frank J. “Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity.” 2005. https://bit.ly/2QUyQir

This study explores the benefits of physical exercise and how it related to a healthier and longer life, reducing risks for things such as cardiovascular diseases and arthritis. This can be used to help readers understand the benefits of exercise before relating drumming to those benefits to get a deeper understanding of how drumming can be healthy in the long term.

Source 8: Perkins, Rosie. Making music for mental health: how group drumming mediates recovery. 2016. https://bit.ly/3sBRysO

This article follows mentally ill patients and recovering addicts through drumming treatments. It found that participating in these rhythmic, therapeutic drum circles sped up recovery and made that patients feel better mentally. This source can be used to display the overwhelming evidence in support of the positive mental effects of drumming.

Source 9: Selvanetti, Alberto. “Overuse tendon injuries: Basic science and classification.” 1997. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1060-1872(97)80031-7

This article listed numerous tendon injuries caused by overuse and constant stress. It described the different types of tendon injuries as well as what causes them. This can be used to describe the negative physical effects of drumming, as well as to provide some insight into how to prevent or postpone many of these injuries.

Source 10: Stoeber, Joachim, and Dirk Rennert. 2008. “Perfectionism in School Teachers: Relations with Stress Appraisals, Coping Styles, and Burnout.” Anxiety, Stress & Coping 21 (1): 37–53. https://bit.ly/33hYccR

The study describes school teachers and how their perfectionism leads to stress and burnout, however I believe it works just as well to provide negative effects of perfectionism in musicians and artists. It talked about how the constant unrealistic aim for perfection caused immense levels of stress and even caused the teachers to experience burnout. This study can be used to bring attention to the detrimental mental effects of being a professional musician.

Source 11: Vardonikolaki, Aikaterini. “Musicians’ Hearing Handicap Index: A New Questionnaire to Assess the Impact of Hearing Impairment in Musicians and Other Music Professionals.” 2020. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-19-00165

This article discusses hearing loss and the dangers of extreme decibel levels that come with being a professional musician. It goes into more detail about the Musicians’ Hearing Handicap Index (HMMI) which is the recommended decibel levels of stage monitors for musicians. The article can be used to display the destructive power of drumming on the ears of the player.


  • Drummers seem to know something that most others don’t: the key to a healthy elongated existence. Drumming can have benefits equal to that of extreme sports, while simultaneously refining the mind, body, and spirit. It seems counterintuitive


  • 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.


  • Social inhibitors of drumming can be seen mainly through famous drummers of the twentieth century, where the pressure has gotten to them. Physically, there are all kinds of injuries that can be caused from this activity, some of which are irreversible such as hearing damage.

Current State of Research

  • Overall I am happy with the state of my research paper, as I believe it reached the conclusion and had the effect that I sought for. I feel as though there is still refinement that can be done, however in its current form I believe it to be beneficial and enjoyable to read for those who wish to learn about the benefits of drumming. It was enjoyable to take this path and follow research about my topic, and I feel as though the end result is something to be proud of.

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