Health Promotions in Schools of Music

2004 Conference | Sponsors | University of North Texas | Performing Arts Medical Association

Music Education Liaison

Hearing Health

Vocal Health
PreConference Report 1
Preconference Report 2
Postconference Report


Mental Health
Teacher Stresses


Chair: Judy Palac, Michigan State University
Kathleen Horvath, Case Western University
Janet Jensen, University of Wisconsin
Gerald Klickstein, North Carolina School of the Arts
Laurie Scott, University of Texas at Austin
David Sogin, University of Kentucky


I. Music educators-to-be and in-service music educators need to have a clear, accurate, and current understanding of:

A.  the types of neuromusculoskeletal injuries for which they are at risk—for example, musculo-tendinous pain syndrome, tendonitis, nerve entrapments, and focal dystonias. They need to know what factors affect risk—such as increase in performance time, stress, and naturally-occurring conditions such as hypermobility.

B. (a) how the instruments they play and/or teach are constructed and how they function, (b) the basics of how whole bodies are made and function (including auditory systems), AND (c) how the whole body functions efficiently and inefficiently when coupled with each instrument while playing it [with special attention to the extra stress-demands placed on crucial anatomy-physiology when playing each instrument (e.g., the auditory system, or neuromusculoskeletal and soft tissue demands in the face-neck area in wind instrument players versus neuromusculoskeletal and soft tissue demands in the neck-jaw area in string players)].

C. musical acoustics and the acoustics related to each instrument they play-teach, and to human voices, and how the acoustics of instrument playing, speaking, and singing can interact with physiology to evoke unnecessary neuromusculoskeletal and soft tissue “cost” (including acoustic trauma to auditory systems and acoustic overloading of the vocal folds).

D. what sound qualities and visible effort-signs are associated with inefficient and with efficient instrument playing, speaking, and singing.

E. how neuromusculoskeletal, soft tissue, and auditory system injuries can occur in people who play musical instruments, speak, and sing.

F. how various diseases and medications can affect neuromusculoskeletal, soft tissue, and auditory system anatomy and function that are necessarily involved when playing instruments, speaking, and singing

G. what symptoms and syndromes indicate potential, oncoming, or full-blown neuromusculoskeletal and soft tissue injury in instrument players, singers, and teachers (including the vocal sound qualities that indicate injured or diseased voices), and acoustic trauma to auditory systems.

H. what to do to prevent injuries and diseases that detrimentally affect instrument playing, speaking, and singing abilities.

I. what to do (and what not do) when such injuries/diseases occur (appropriate and effective self-treatments, when to see a physician/therapist team, how to select a qualified team, how to follow through on a treatment-recovery plan, how to recondition neuromusculoskeletal and soft tissue anatomy/physiology after recovery). They also need to be educated to practical self-care strategies, such as rest, ice, and so on.

J. how the verbal and nonverbal communications of music educators can: (1) contribute to “mental-emotional” distress in learners that can enhance a protective self-identity and induce inefficient instrument playing, singing, and speaking, OR (2) contribute to “mental-emotional” engagement in learners that can enhance a constructive self-identity and elicit optimally efficient instrument playing, singing, and speaking in learners [based in the neuropsychobiological sciences].