Chapters 12-13 of The Musician’s Way focus on self-care and injury prevention; the resources on this page complement that material. Note: before you make decisions about your health, consult a healthcare professional.
Injury Prevention for Instrumentalists
See p. 229-291 of The Musician’s Way.
“Exercise for Musicians: Flay Fit, Not Flat.” How exercise benefits musicians,
by Bronwen Ackermann, Ph.D.
“Return to play schedule following injury.” From Musicians’ Health Scotland.
“Looking at Musicians’ Health through the Ages.” Ralph Manchester, M.D., sums up the prevalence and incidence of playing-related injuries.
“Musculoskeletal Disorders Affecting Musicians and Considerations for their Prevention.” Slides by physiotherapist Patrice Berque; includes anatomical drawings and photos.
AthletesandtheArts.com. Integrating the science of sports medicine and music.
“What Studying Musicians Tells Us about Motor Control of the Hand.” Article by Alan Watson, Ph.D. (2006).
“Musician, Heal Thyself.” Stories about injured musicians and their journeys back to health; from Peabody Magazine.
Books about injury prevention for musicians
The Musician’s Way, by Gerald Klickstein (Oxford 2009). See Chapters 12 & 13.
The Musician’s Survival Manual, by Richard Norris, M.D. Free ebook (2011/1993).
The Musician’s Body, by Llobet and Odam (Ashgate 2007).
Playing (less) Hurt, by Janet Horvath (2009 edition).
Locate an Arts Medicine Specialist
See p. 246-249 of The Musician’s Way.
International directory of Performing Arts Medicine Association members.
U.K. performing arts medicine practitioners, via BAPAM.
American Academy of Otolaryngology. Global directory to locate a voice doctor.
Musicians’ Clinics of Canada, Toronto.
See p. 250-269 of The Musician’s Way.
“The Alexander Technique.” A synopsis by Sara Cohoe.
BodyMap.org, by Barbara Conable.
Selected books about AT
The Alexander Technique for Musicians, by Kleinman & Buckoke (2014).
Indirect Procedures, 2nd Edition, Pedro de Alcantara (Oxford, 2013).
How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live, Missy Vineyard (Da Capo, 2007).
What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body, Barbara Conable (2000).
Ergonomics and Computer Use
Consult p. 250-269 of The Musician’s Way.
Wedge seat cushions from Amazon.com. Excellent for musicians!
See p. 250-269 of The Musician’s Way.
“An Overview of the Feldenkrais Method.” A 4-page article by Ralph Strauch.
Counteracting Substance Abuse
See p. 307-309 of The Musician’s Way.
Music Medicine Reference
PubMed. Search for articles in scientific and medical journals.
Performing Arts Medicine, 3rd edition (July 2010). “The definitive textbook.”
The Biology of Musical Performance and Performance-related Injury, by Alan H. D. Watson, Ph.D. (Scarecrow Press, 2009).
For anatomical images, search Google Images.
Voice Care & Vocal Health
Fit to Sing. A factsheet from the British Assoc. of Performing Arts Medicine.
Effects of Medications on Voice and Speech, from the NCVS.
Understanding Hoarseness, from ENT Associates.
Self-Help for Vocal Health, from The National Center for Voice and Speech.
Vocal health guidelines from the Lions Voice Clinic of the Univ. of Minnesota.
Tips for Performers, courtesy of the Duke Voice Care Center.
The Ultimate Guide to Singing (TC-Helicon, 2014). Articles by 136 experts.
Photo gallery of throat disorders. From the Bastian Voice Institute.
General Health and Wellness
See Part III of The Musician’s Way.
EatRight.org. Extensive resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Tips for a Healthy Diet and Better Nutrition. From HelpGuide.org.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Health Promotion in Schools of Music. Recommendations for educators.
“The Education of the Professional Musician: Its Psychological Demands and Outcomes,” by Anthony Kemp, Ph.D., a chapter in Musical Performance, 2/3, edited by Froehlich and Chesky, 93-110 (Harwood, 2000).
Ash.org. “America’s first antismoking organization.” Articles & tips for quitting.
Hearing Conservation for Musicians
See p. 277-291 of The Musician’s Way.
Music-induced hearing loss may affect half of all professional musicians, so hearing conservation is a topic of concern for anyone who makes music.
“Hear Today. Hear Tomorrow.” A widely read article by Gerald Klickstein.
Hear the Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians, by Marshall Chasin, Ph.D. (3rd Edition, 2010). Free 93-page ebooklet.
Sound Advice. Extensive resources for musicians, colleges, schools.
Hearnet.com. Hearing education and awareness.
Dangerous Decibels. Info for preventing all sorts of noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention. Guidelines from NIOSH.
“A Musician Afraid of Sound,” by Janet Horvath. How overexposure to loud music ended the Minnesota cellist’s career (The Atlantic, Oct. 20, 2015).
Articles about musicians and hearing, from Hearing Review.
“Are Your Medications Affecting Your Hearing?” A primer on ototoxicity.
Listen to Your Buds. Safety tips for using earbuds and personal audio devices.
Musicians’ Hearing Health. Hearing conservation research at UNC-Greensboro.
“Prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss in student musicians,” by Phillips, Henrich, & Mace (International Journal of Audiology 49, 2010).
“Sound Level Measurements in Music Practice Rooms,” by Phillips and Mace, Music Performance Research (2008).
A Sound Ear II. Free 50-page ebooklet addressing “noise at work regulations and their impact on orchestras.” (Association of British Orchestras, 2008).
“No fortissimo? Symphony told to keep it down,” by Sarah Lyall, (The New York Times, April 20, 2008).
Tinnitus and the brain.” Discover magazine, October, 2010.
Listen While You Work: Hearing Conservation for the Arts. Free ebook, (2001).
Audio Demonstrations. Simulations of hearing loss.
Sound level meters
American Recorder Technologies Sound Level Meter. Highly recommended.
SPL Pro. A sound level meter app for iPhone.
The Cirrus Research DoseBadge. A professional device (not for consumer use).
Manhasset acoustic shields. Caution: as described on p. 285 of The Musician’s Way, shields must be positioned within 7 inches [18 cm] of a musician’s ears and angled to deflect sound away from upwind players. Info about drum shields.
Sound-absorbing and soundproofing materials via Amazon.com.
Portable sound-absorbing baffles from ClearSonic Manufacturing.
Hearing protection devices
Musicians who work in high-volume settings should see audiologists to obtain comprehensive hearing exams and receive guidance on the use of hearing protection devices (see The Musician’s Way p. 288-291).
Etymotic Research ER20 Musicians’ Earplugs. Basic and inexpensive. 2 sizes.
Electronic Musicians’ Earplugs, from Etymotic. Adjust to changing sound levels.
Custom-fitted hi-fidelity plugs from Etymotic. Order from an audiologist. Useful for some but not all musicians. Excellent for percussionists.