The College of Arts and Architecture

Health Information for Musicians

A career in music can be one of the most rewarding of professions, but it also places considerable demands on the performers. At times, this can produce a range of occupational health issues.

The last twenty years have seen a considerable change in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a range of musician injuries. The effectiveness of early diagnosis and specific treatment, and the access to general information about the propensity of postural and tension issues that cause (often complex) injuries, has changed the impact these health issues have on the length and quality of many musicians' careers.

We hope these resources will help musicians prevent injury in the first place. Recognizing the symptoms of minor injuries and seeking help early, rather than ignoring and allowing them to compound, is an important part of this process. Symptoms such as pain, tingling or numbness, fatigue, loss of control, hoarseness, and ringing or buzzing in the ears are all indicators of potentially serious injury. If experiencing these symptoms, the student should stop, rest, and seek medical advice. It is extremely important that student musicians arm themselves with knowledge, are attentive to signs of discomfort, and discuss concerns with faculty.

The Penn State School of Music is working to ensure that we provide current information about health and safety. This page lists general health information that is applicable to all musicians, regardless of instrument or voice. Please use the links at the bottom to find health information that applies to specific areas of applied study.

Definitions of common disorders:

Injury Prevention for Musicians (General):

Hearing Protection:

Performance Anxiety:

Repetitive Strain Injuries:

Alexander Technique

Pilates:

Feldenkrais Method:

Body Mapping:

Yoga:

Healthy Computer Use:

Local Resources:

Alexander Technique -Dr. Robyn Costa, rlc40@psu.edu, (814) 769-3057

Hearing/Audiology - Leslie A. Purcell, Doctor of Audiology, Instructor and Audiology Clinic Coordinator, 404G Ford Building, University Park, PA 16802, lxp80@psu.edu, 814-865-0797


Health Information for Brass Players

Health Information for Woodwind Players

Health Information for String Players

Health Information for Percussionists

Health Information for Pianists