• Musicians' Health & Wellness Statement and Resources

    Your health and wellness practices directly affect your growth, productivity and longevity as a musician. Though your emotional and physical well-being are the concern of the entire Hamline community, the Department of Music has a particular concern to promote awareness and training of healthy practices for you as a performing artist. After all, the demands on the body and mind of a serious musician are comparable to those of a highly-trained athlete. Our goal is to help you avoid injury and perform at the highest and happiest level for as long as possible.

    Our music instructors are your front-line resource for healthy performance practices. Discuss with your teacher, conductor, or adviser any concerns you have with physical pain or psychological pressures that impact your performance. In addition to providing our in-person support network for you, we offer a variety of other resources. Recently we hosted a presentation by Dr. Jonathan Reynolds on Musician Injuries: Introduction to Prevention, Treatment and Research, and our many guest artist master classes often highlight healthy approaches to vocal and instrumental performance.

    The larger community of professional music organizations dedicate significant attention to health and wellness issues and provide excellent resources for further exploration of this topic. The National Association of Schools of Music has guidelines for promoting musician wellness in college music programs (see links below). Other organizations that actively advocate for musicians’ health and wellness include: The American Federation of Musicians, The International Society for Music Education, and the American Choral Directors Association. The Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) is an organization that publishes articles, presents conferences and supports research on occupational well-being in all disciplines of the performing arts.

    In the Hamline Department of Music we are here to help you develop and keep your principal musical instrument - your body, mind and spirit - in top condition. You ARE your instrument!

    Please note the following guidelines:

    1. Don’t play or sing through pain or injuries. Stop! Speak to your instructor as soon as possible.
    2. Performance anxiety is a universal issue. It comes in a variety of degrees and there are treatments and practices that can help at all levels. It is particularly important that you reach out to your instructor, if you experience levels of performance anxiety that are debilitating and prevent you from participating in music to the extent you would like.
    3. Protect your hearing when attending concerts or performing in large or amplified ensembles. Noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible.
    4. Always, but particularly as you prepare for performances, be sure to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, get some exercise, sleep, laugh with friends, take breaks, and seek help when you need it.

    Selected Resources