Musician's Health

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

 

The CMS Committee on Musicians’ Health met face-to-face for the first time at the 2015 National Conference.  A productive discussion took place resulting in several projects now underway.

 

I. The following presenters presented wellness-related sessions at the 2015 National Conference:

 

One Size Does Not Fit All:  A Glimpse into the Diversity in Musicians' Health and Wellness Offerings in Higher Education
Presenters: Lesley McAllister, Serap Bastepe-Gray, Phyllis Lehrer, Linda Cockey, Gail Berenson

 

12 Habits of Healthy Musicians: A Framework to Enhance Health Promotion in Schools of Music
Presenter:  Gerald Klickstein

 

Sustaining Hearing Health:  Understanding and Managing Sound Levels during Ensemble-Based Instructional Activities
Presenter:  Kris Chesky

 

Teaching, Learning, and the Brain
Presenter:  Lois Svard

 

We continue to promote CMS to our colleagues with expertise on wellness-related topics and encourage them to submit proposals for CMS regional and national conferences.

 

II. The organization Athletes and the Arts was coincidentally holding a meeting in Indianapolis during the timeframe of our conference.  With many of their major representatives in town and offering to meet with our members at the J.W. Marriott, we were able to schedule a “Meet and Greet”, enabling interested CMS members to ask wellness-related questions of these experts.  With only onsite signage to notify people about this event, we were ecstatic with the remarkable turnout.  A special thank you to the CMS leadership for allowing us to schedule this event and providing us a meeting space. 

 

Initiated in 2008 and formally launched in 2013 Athletes and the Arts (AATA) is a multi-organizational initiative recognizing that athletes exist throughout the performing arts community and that established performance, wellness, and injury prevention research for sport athletes also is applicable to performing artists. Performing artists of all ages and genre are an underserved population related to medical coverage, care, injury prevention and wellness.  These artists can benefit from a knowledgeable medical team that understand what they do (including the volume and intensity of their activities) in collaboration with a caring, innovative instructor who sees both the short-term and long term picture for a student’s development.  AATA is a foundation of this effort and www.athletesandthearts.com is a resource to enhance your wellness efforts.

 

III. Webinar:  Friday, December 4, 2015 

Our committee hosted our first Webinar, “What Musicians Can Learn From Athletes”, with guest presenters, Randall Dick, Athletes and the Arts, and John Snyder, Artists House Foundation (Loyola University, New Orleans, LA).  We extend our special thanks to Tom Cook for all his assistance.

 

Performing artists of all ages and genre are an underserved population who can benefit from a knowledgeable medical team that understand what they do (including the volume and intensity of their activities) in collaboration with a caring, innovative instructor who sees both the short-term and long term picture for a student’s development. This webinar will introduce the AATA initiative, discuss how it helps address the NASM health and wellness standard, and provide educational resources and thoughts on how to optimize both performance and health for the performing artist.

 

IV. Future initiatives:

A. We intend to look into creating a Committee on Musicians’ Health Webinar series.  It is presently under consideration by our committee members.  Meanwhile, we have scheduled a second Webinar, to take place on March 11, 2016, with Dr. Lois Svard as our presenter.  Her topic:  “A Musician’s Guide to the Brain:  What We Need to Know and Why”.

 

B. Proposal for Pre-Conference Symposium – 2016 Santa Fe, New Mexico, National Conference

We are in the process of working on our proposal for a half-day pre-conference symposium that will focus on the psychological issues inherent in collegiate teaching affecting faculty, students and administrators.  We have asked psychoanalyst and Juilliard-trained pianist Dr. Julie Nagel, who is an expert on this topic, to serve as our keynote speaker.  The remaining presenters will include the members of our committee, who possess considerable expertise on various aspects of this topic.  Our proposal will be submitted to meet the January 31st deadline.