Musician's Health and Safety

Within the past decade the number and sometimes seriousness of performance injuries has grown. This is an issue all musicians at all levels of accomplishment need to take seriously. The information on this page is provided to offer you resources, whether you have an injury or not.

If you believe you are developing a performance injury, please let your studio instructor or ensemble director know. There are resources and services available on campus to help you.

For Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS) call x1555 to make an appointment. Referrals can be made to the School of Physical Therapy.

Hand out on Musician Health Resources.
Hand out on Physical Therapy Resources.

Horvath, Janet. Playing (less) Hurt. An invaluable resource for any musician who is concerned about injuries related to playing their instrument; includes prevention, warning signs, what to do when you get hurt, and important steps in the recovery process. See full review online. There is one copy available in the Music Office.

Rush, Michelle. Treatise. This composition gives an excellent introduction to musician injuries in string players and reviews a large quantity of books and articles for further research. There is one copy available in the Music Office.

Jones-Bey, Ali. Hands On: How to Avoid and Treat Guitar-Related Hand Injuries. An in-depth exploration on risks, prevention, problems, and treatments of guitar injuries. Includes resources for further reading.

Lieberman, Julie Lyonn. "The Importance of Setup." Strings Magazine. May/June 2000. This article, specific to violinists and violists, discusses the importance of a well-fitted chin and shoulder rest for comfortable playing.

For Pianists: Wristen, Brenda, et al. "Wellness Curriculum Outline."
Extensive resources from the Fraces Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.

McComb, Ron. Colorado Brass and Woodwinds: Musician Health Exercises. A compilation of links for brass, woodwind, and guitar players; includes both musician health topics and exercises.

Rickover, Robert. The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique: Musicians and the Alexander Technique. A great guide to the Alexander Technique and its application to vocalists and instrumentalists. Includes links to large quantity of different articles.

Safety and Health in Arts Production and Entertainment (SHAPE). Musicians and MSI: Symptoms and Types of Injuries. A brief outline of injuries common to different instrumentalists; includes tables to evaluate the severity of your pain. Available outline in pdf format.

Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA) Medical problems in Performing Artists.
Official journal of the Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA). Current issues and archives available online and in the Collins Memorial Library.

Voice Care Team. The Voice Problem Web site. 2004. An in-depth, medical resource on voice problems, (not specific to singers); overviews of voice disorders and anatomy and physiology of voice production.

Castonguay, David Otis. "Maintaining Vocal Health." 2005