Tuning the Mind and Body of Musicians; Dr. John Chong, M.D.; December 4, 2020


Key concepts of performing arts medicine will be introduced from the history of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, clinical experience of the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada and cutting edge scientific evidence related to injury and illness. Common symptoms and medical problems of performing artists are outlined from a psychophysiological and ergonomic perspective with special emphasis on neurobiological mechanisms. Issues related to prevention are addressed especially from an educator’s point of view.

Dr. John Chong, M.D.:  From his roots in Oakville Ontario Canada, piano lessons began at age 3 advancing to the Royal Conservatory in Toronto with Clifford Poole on scholarship. After an injury to his right hand from over practicing the Wanderer Fantasy when he was 14, he went on to study electronic music and composition with Samuel Dolin. He did perform at Massey Hall and completed the ARCT in Piano Performance at age 17. His prize-winning composition Continuum was performed by the Toronto Symphony the same year. With the intention of a career in electronic music he went on to graduate in electrical engineering at the University of Toronto while working as a summer student at the National Research Council at the Electronic Music Laboratory with Hugh LeCaine in Ottawa. His interests shifted to study in the fields of medicine, clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, occupational health, public health and preventive medicine, acupuncture, and psychotherapy at McMaster University. He was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences tenured in 1990 and is in the Department of Family Medicine currently. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Music and Health Research Collaboratory at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. As the Medical Director of the Musicians’ Clinics of Canada, he has treated musicians with repetitive strain injuries, motor control problems, anxiety, depression, neuropathic pain, nerve entrapments, and stress-related disorders since 1986. His clinical and research interest is regulation of the autonomic nervous system using neuro-biofeedback techniques for the prevention of repetitive strain injuries, focal dystonia, chronic pain, depression and substance use disorders.