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Musicians' Health Issue

Helping improve musicians’ health

We at the University of Ottawa Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory are promoting scientific research on musicians’ health and injury prevention. Since the Lab’s beginnings in 2005,musicians’ health has become one of our core missions.

We recognize the severity of playing-related injuries and other health-related issues for musicians.

  o 61% of classically trained professional musicians and 45% of music students are affected

  o 91% piano teachers have experienced playing-related pain.

  o Music performance anxiety affects 1 out of 4 professional musicians.

  o They can have a devastating impact on careers.

  o There has been little scientific research in this field.

Building a sensory awareness inclusive of the whole arm is a major concept in the somatic method, body mapping. Somatic methods like body mapping may help musicians prevent and recover from playing-related pain, but there has so far been very little scientific research done.

We’re on a mission

With such a high rate of pain and injury among musicians, and so little research, something must be done to help musicians prevent and rehabilitate from playing-related pain. ThePiano Pedagogy Research Laboratory is seeking $7,000 to continue researching the effect of somatic (body awareness) training on postural patterns and muscular tension in musicians, thereby transforming teaching methods and enabling more people to enjoy their music-making without playing-related pain and injuries.


Recent graduate Meganne Woronchak participates in a study on the effects of somatic methods—the Alexander technique, body mapping and Feldenkrais—conducted by PhD student Grace Wong.

Some of our current investigations

  – 3D visualisation and motion capture to help students achieve healthy posture and alignment

  – Infrared cameras to detect early signs of musculoskeletal disorders

  – Somatic training (training of the body with awareness) for injury prevention and rehabilitation

  – Factors contributing to performance anxiety

  

Reflective or coloured markers are used for a motion capture system that allows analysis of movement.

Musicians will benefit from your contribution

Our research:

  – Will objectively determine the effectiveness of somatic approaches for musicians.

  – Will identify specific somatic approaches that improve postural patterns, enhance playing technique and prevent pain and injury.

  – Has the potential to change how we teach musicians to play.

This will enable more people to enjoy the rewarding activity of playing without the discomfort of playing-related pain and injuries.

We appreciate your contribution to improving musicians’ health!


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Thank you!

Every donation helps bring us closer to our goal of conducting research on health and injury prevention for musicians!

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You have helped us with printing survey questionnaires for our research on performance anxiety.

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A donation of this amount can provide us with the support of a statistical analyst to process the data of an entire study

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