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noneHealth Promotion in Schools of Music



The conference program is designed to facilitate the development of health promotion materials suitable for music students attending NASM schools. Sessions are being planned to support interactive dialogue and focused debate. 

The separate and combined efforts of five working groups will provide the basis for discussion and consensus with delegates.  Medical/science experts in the areas of vocal, mental, nueromusculoskeletal, and audiologic health, will provide overviews and recommendations for specific health promotion content.   A music education working group will present ideas that promote awareness, attention towards prevention, and an overall change in the social conscience of this vital community.

Conference programming will include sessions that focus on practical information for use by NASM administrators and faculty members.  Experts will characterize, direct and encourage the use of existing health care resources at most colleges and universities, including student counseling centers, health clinics, and speech and hearing services.

Medical/Science Working Groups




September 30

October 1

October 2





Mental Health

Campus Resources



Opening Session



Vocal Health

Music Education









Case Law Review

Neuro-musculoskeletal Health

Consensus Building



Hearing Health











Vocal Health
Chair: Stephen A. Mitchell
Contributing Members: Fang-Ling Lu, Christine Sapienza, Robert T. Sataloff, C. Richard Stasney, Ingo R. Titze, Kittie Verdolin

Music students, musicians and music educators who sing and use their voice during performance and instruction are exposed to a variety of hazards. Dr. Stephen Mitchell, President of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, has established and engaged a world class group of medical professionals, voice experts, and speech-language pathologists to determine what music students should know about vocal health in order to minimize the potential risks for injury. In addition to offering specific recommendations for college music students, this group session will characterize;

  • anatomy and physiology of the voice
  • prevention oriented general health practices
  • voice problems, including both organic and functional disorders
  • Case Law Review
    Presenter: John Richmond

    Music executives must manage the risks of music-related injuries to which their faculty, staff, and students may be exposed. They have what the courts call of “duty of care.” This session, developed and delivered by Dr. John Richmond, will examine what the courts have had to say about the liability of institutions regarding music-related injuries to which faculty, staff, and students have been exposed. Case law which examines these questions directly and indirectly will serve as the source material for the discussion.

    Hearing Health
    Chair: Miriam Henoch
    Contributing Members: Elliot H. Berger, Marshall Chasin, Ross Roeser, Jennifer Tufts, Laura Ann Wilber
    Assisting: Staci Smith

    Noise induced hearing loss in a major public health problem. Loudness levels associated with learning and performing music, including what students experience in school-based ensembles, can contribute to problems with hearing. Preventing irreversible hearing loss among music students and professionals is a major challenge to all educators, including those preparing for or working with student musicians in public schools. Dr. Miriam Henoch, Associate Professor of Audiology at the University of North Texas, is leading a highly notable team of experts that will provide recommendations for educating music students and for positively influencing college music programs. In addition, the session will include information about;

  • structures of the ear and how they are damaged by noise exposure
  • Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standard for noise exposure as written for industry
  • risk factors associated with the physics of various musical instruments
  • available strategies for reducing the risk of noise exposure

  • Mental Health
    Chair: Susan Raeburn
    Contributing Members: John Hipple, Eric Maisel, Louise Montello, Julie Nagel, Ken White, Lisa Willis
    Advisory Members: Harold Owens, Kyle Pruett
    Assisting: Keri Barnett

    The mental health of a music student is of great importance and often contributes to problems with physical health. Music students face a complex set of psychosocial challenges due to the nature of their chosen profession. Dr. Susan Raeburn, Clinical Psychologist from Berkeley, California is chairing a group of mental health professionals who have collaborated over several months to pinpoint the most pressing mental health issues facing music students today. Presentations will cover areas such as;

  • Common mental health problems: anxiety & stress, performance anxiety, depression, and substance abuse
  • Self-care and self-management
  • Relationships
  • Career issues

  • Standards of Care
    Presenter: Bill Meinke

    The task of formulating effective standards and guidelines for any activity that involves the protection and promotion of artistic expression, in whatever form, is fraught with peril. Too strict and confining, we risk quashing the spark of inspiration in our charges long before it has had the chance to blossom. Yet, too loose and permissive, and that same spark may dissipate in the resulting chaos into something that is a mere ghost of the glory it might have been. This talk is about a way of thinking about, and working with, concepts and behaviors that underlie the activities of all professionals whose work involves the “care and feeding” of artists. In the process of this discussion, Dr. William Meinke hopes that a method for arriving at effective standards and guidelines for such activities will simply and naturally “fall into place.” This analysis recognizes that the most fundamental standards for any such endeavor relate to basic perceptions, values and beliefs with respect to the specific activity in question – in this case, music education. It recognizes that a second level of standards relates to behaviors that either do or do not serve the basic impulse behind the previously identified basic perceptions, values and beliefs. Once these fundamental principles have been articulated, it will be possible to create Guidelines that distill the experience of generations of educators into a tool that truly guides rather than coerces future educators.

    Neuromusculoskeletal Health
    Chair: Ralph Manchester
    Contributing Members: Alice Brandfonbrener, William Dawson, Mark Hallett, Richard Lederman, Bernard Rubin

    Learning and performing a musical instrument is physically demanding and can lead to medical problems. The neuromusculoskeletal health working group will provide an overview of these problems and specific recommendations for educating college music students. Dr. Ralph Manchester, Past President of Performing Arts Medicine Association, is chairing a group of esteemed medical professionals who have collaborated to highlight the most critical issues regarding physical health including;

  • focal dystonia
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • anatomy and physiology of muscle-tendon problems
  • unique aspects of muscle-tendon problems
  • College Campus Resources
    Presenters: Ralph Manchester, Jeffrey Cokley, Donald Rosen

    Music students, faculty and administrators should be aware of, and encouraged to utilize, existing resources for the prevention and treatment of potential neuromusculoskeletal, speech and hearing, or mental health concerns. To develop an increased understanding of these vital resources for music students, Drs. Ralph Manchester, Jeffrey Cokely, and Donald Rosen will provide detailed overviews of college health centers, speech and hearing clinics, and counseling centers.

    Music Education
    Chair: Don Hodges
    Contributing Members: Peggy Bennett, Christian Bernhard, Elaine Bernstorf, David Circle, Karendra Devroop, Jana Fallin, John Flohr, Hildegard Froehlich, Rhonda Fuelberth, Janet Jensen, Kathleen Hovarth, Jody Kerchner, Bob Lawrence, Clifford Madsen, Gwen McGraw, John Nix, Douglas Owens, Judy Palac, Laurie Scott, Patricia Sink, David Sogin, Leon Thurman, Valerie Trollinger, Roger Warner, Stephen Zdzinski

    The relationships between medical problems associated with music and when and how music performance practices are introduced and taught in pre-college institutions are not clear. In order to establish a proactive strategy for music education and teacher training programs, Dr. Donald Hodges is chairing a large group of music education faculty to develop a call for action and specific recommendations for music education. In addition to addressing the need for new or revised foundational principals for music education that recognize risk associated with learning and performing music, this group will provide suggestions and recommendations for:

  • Changes in teacher education programs
  • In-service and other professional development programs to inform and support teachers in the field
  • Expanded research agenda that includes the study of music performance and associated risk
  • Specific national projects that encourage awareness and the adoption of prevention oriented practice
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