Musician's Health Initiative

berenson gailGail Berenson, Ohio University 
Chair, Committee on Musicians' Health

As most college faculty and administrators are well aware, NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) has issued wellness advisories on the topics of neuro-musculoskeletal health, vocal health, hearing health, and mental health. These advisories provide more reasons than ever for colleges, conservatories, and universities to integrate musicians' wellness into the music major curriculum.  

We commend CMS for recognizing the importance of this subject and scheduling an open meeting for interested individuals at the 2014 St. Louis National Conference. One outcome of this meeting was the decision to move forward with a Musicians’ Health Committee. As a result, a dedicated and knowledgeable group of individuals who hold expertise in various aspects of musicians’ wellness was invited to serve as members of the Committee on Musicians’ Health. Formulated a few weeks after the 2014 CMS National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, these individuals are already at work planning for the future. Later reports will detail the directions we hope to pursue.

Even with only a couple of weeks before the deadline for submitting proposals for the 2015 CMS National Conference, everyone “hit the ground running” writing our own proposals and e-mailing as many of our contacts as possible to promote the submission of conference proposals on this topic. We believe that quite a few proposals were submitted and are hopeful that musicians’ health will be well represented on the 2015 conference program. We plan to submit committee-sponsored proposals for the 2016 National Conference.