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.
"Things Are Seldom What They Seem." Alice Brandfonbrener's advice to musicians on how to get help when injury symptoms arise (2006).
“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.
"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.” Article 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. 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).
Voice Care & Vocal Health
The Ultimate Guide to Singing (TC-Helicon, 2014). Extraordinary new book with contributions from 136 experts; many articles about 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.
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.
Understanding Hoarseness, from ENT Associates.
Photo gallery of throat disorders. From the Bastian Voice Institute.
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.
General Health and Wellness
See Part III of The Musician's Way.
PositivityRatio.com. Gauge your mental habits with a 2-minute test.
Guided relaxation videos on YouTube.
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.
"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.
BodyMap.org, by Barbara Conable.
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
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.
Hear the Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians, by Marshall Chasin, Ph.D. (3rd Edition, 2010). Free 93-page ebooklet.
Find an Audiologist. Global locator from ASHA.
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.
Articles about musicians and hearing, from Hearing Review.
Listen to Your Buds. Safety tips for using earbuds and personal audio devices.
“Are Your Medications Affecting Your Hearing?” A primer on ototoxicity.
"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).
Musicians' Hearing Health. Hearing conservation research at UNC-Greensboro.
“Center Helps Prevent Hearing Loss Through Awareness,” by Ellen Rossetti, UNT Research 17 (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.
American Recorder Technologies Sound Level Meter. Highly recommended.
SPL Pro. "A professional-grade sound level meter app for your iPhone."
The Cirrus Research DoseBadge. A professional-grade device used to measure the sound exposure levels of musicians and workers (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.
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.