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 to address both injury prevention and avoidance of it.
If you believe you are developing a performance injury, please confer with your studio instructor and ensemble director(s). Please also take advantage of resources and services available on campus to help you.
Appointments can be made with Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS, located on the second floor of the Wheelock Student Center) at x1555. You also may need to make an appointment through the School of Physical Therapy (located on the first floor of Weyerhaeuser Hall, (253)879-3180); referrals are not required.
Follow this link for a list of resources for physical therapy clinics that specialize in treating musicians in the Seattle/Tacoma area.
The Musician's Way website is an excellent hub for resources that encompasses Musician’s health, providing information on health problems seen in musicians, self-care for the musician, nutritional issues, stretches and exercises and more.
More links on General Musician's Health:
- Official journal of the Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA). Current issues and archives available online and in the Collins Memorial Library.
- Performing Arts Medicine Association
Basic Information on Hearing Health: This site was created by NASM and PAMA as an in-depth resource regarding Musician’s Hearing Health. It covers facts, basic information, information on protection of hearing, and recommendations for faculty and staff in Schools of Music.
More links on Musician’s Hearing Health:
- Decibel Loudness Comparison Chart
- Hearing Loss and Decibel Levels
- Music Induced Hearing Loss and Hearing Prevention
- NASM-PAMA Advisories on Hearing Health
- Noise Induced Hearing Loss
- Noise and Hearing Loss
- Study Finds Music Teachers at Risk of Hearing Loss
Protecting Your Vocal Health: Student Information Sheet: This resource created by NASM and PAMA gives basic information and helpful tips for vocalists.
How to Prevent and Repair Vocal Damage: A guide from Baylor University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences online speech pathology program which outlines the risks of vocal misuse or overuse, ways to practice better vocal hygiene, and how voice therapy can help.
More links on Vocal Health:
- Bastian Medical Media for Laryngology
- The National Center for Voice and Speech
- Singers Health
- Texas Voice Center
- The Voice Foundation
Musculoskeletal Health & Prevention
Musicians and MSI: Symptoms and Types of Injuries: An excellent description of the symptoms and pain levels associated with musculoskeletal injuries including detailed descriptions of tendon and muscle disorders, as well as nerve compression and entrapment.
More Links on Musculoskeletal Health:
- A Painful Melody: Repetitive Strain Injury Among Musicians
- Alexander Technique
- Body Map
- The Fraces Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy
- The Feldenkrais Method
- For Pianists: Wristen, Brenda, et al. "Wellness Curriculum Outline."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- NASM-PAMA Advisories on Neuromusculoskeletal and Vocal Health
- 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.
- 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.
- What Makes Musicians Prone to Repetitive Strain Injuries?
- Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute
Coping with Music Performance Anxiety: this website created by the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire covers the topic of performance anxiety. It gives a definition of anxiety disorders, ways to manage anxiety, and more resources on the subject.
More links on Psychological Health: