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 | Voice care | Locate a medical specialist | General health | Alexander technique | Feldenkrais method | Ergonomics | Reference | Counteracting substance abuse | Hearing protection | Blog
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.
"Things Are Seldom What They Seem." Alice Brandfonbrener, M.D., advises musicians how to get help when injury symptoms arise (April, 2006).
"Return to play schedule following injury." From Musicians' Health Scotland.
“Musculoskeletal Disorders Affecting Musicians and Considerations for their Prevention.” Slides by physiotherapist Patrice Berque; includes anatomical drawings and photos.
"Looking at Musicians' Health through the Ages." Ralph Manchester, M.D., discusses the prevalence and incidence of playing-related injuries.
"Musician, Heal Thyself." Stories about injured musicians and their journeys back to health; from Peabody Magazine.
“What Studying Musicians Tells Us about Motor Control of the Hand,” by Alan Watson, Ph.D. (2006).
AthletesandtheArts.com. Integrating the science of sports medicine and music.
Books about injury prevention for musicians
The Musician's Way, by Gerald Klickstein. Chapters 12 & 13 focus on wellness.
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).
Voice Care & Vocal Health
Fit to Sing. A factsheet from the British Assoc. of Performing Arts Medicine.
The Ultimate Guide to Singing (TC-Helicon, 2014). Extraordinary new book with contributions from 136 experts; many articles about vocal health.
Effects of Medications on Voice and Speech, from the National Center for Voice and Speech. Info about more than 200 medications.
Voice Academy. Vocal health & advice for school teachers.
Personal Steam Inhalers, from Amazon.com.
Photo gallery of throat disorders. From the Bastian Voice Institute.
Locate an Arts Medicine Specialist
See p. 246-249 of The Musician's Way.
Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) international directory of its members. Also see the "referral desk" link.
British Association for Performing Arts Medicine directory of performing arts medicine practitioners in the U.K.
Musicians' Clinics of Canada, Toronto.
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.
Preview “Starting a Music Degree at a University,” by Stephanie Pitts, in The Music Practitioner: Research for the Music Performer, Teacher and Listener, ed. Jane Davidson, 215-224 (Ashgate, 2004).
Preview "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.
Health Promotion in Schools of Music. Recommendations for educators.
See p. 250-269 of The Musician's Way.
“The Alexander Technique.” A synopsis by Sara Cohoe.
Selected books about AT
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).
See p. 250-269 of The Musician's Way.
“An Overview of the Feldenkrais Method.” A 4-page article by Ralph Strauch.
Ergonomics and Computer Use
Also consult p. 250-269 of The Musician's Way.
Wedge seat cushions from Amazon.com. Excellent for musicians!
Counteracting Substance Abuse
See p. 307-309 of The Musician's Way.
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.
Hearing Protection 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.
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.
The American Academy of Audiologists. Locate audiologists worldwide.
Listen to Your Buds. How to use personal audio technology safely.
Hear the Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians, by Marshall Chasin, Ph.D. (3rd Edition, 2010). Free 93-page ebooklet.
A Sound Ear II. Free 50-page ebooklet addressing “noise at work regulations and their impact on orchestras.” (Association of British Orchestras, 2008).
“Sound Level Measurements in Music Practice Rooms,” by Phillips and Mace, Music Performance Research (2008).
"Prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss in student musicians," by Phillips, Henrich, & Mace (International Journal of Audiology 49, 2010).
“Are Your Medications Affecting Your Hearing?” A primer on ototoxicity.
"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.
“Center Helps Prevent Hearing Loss Through Awareness,” by Ellen Rossetti, UNT Research 17 (2008).
Listen While You Work: Hearing Conservation for the Arts. Free ebook, (2001).
Audio Demonstrations. Simulations of hearing loss.
American Recorder Technologies Sound Level Meter. Highly recommended general-purpose device. Under $70 at GuitarCenter.com.
SPL Pro. "A professional-grade sound level meter app for your iPhone."
Sound level meters from DAS Distribution. Professional and consumer models.
The Cirrus Research DoseBadge. A professional-grade device used to measure the sound exposure levels of musicians and workers (not for consumer use).
Concise acoustical and soundproofing glossary, from American Micro Industries.
Acoustic shields from Wenger and Manhasset and Wilde & Spieth.
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 be angled to deflect sound away from upwind players. Info about drum shields.
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).
Electronic Musician's 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.