To play and perform means keeping yourself healthy and safe. Whether you're transporting a heavy instrument, holding a lighter instrument in the same manner for an extended period of time, or engaged in a repetitive action, playing music can have an impact on your body. Check out the following information to keep yourself going strong for the long haul.
Protect yourself against injury and make work easier. Take a moment to consider what you are going to lift or move before jumping into the task. Over time, safe lifting technique can become a habit.
*Make it a habit to follow these steps when lifting anything--even a relatively light object--and you'll be in good shape for your next performance.
The neuromusculoskeletal system refers to the complete system of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and associated nerves and tissues that allow us to move, speak, and sing. This system also supports our body's structure. The "neuro" part of the term "neuromusculoskeletal" refers to our nervous system that coordinates the ways in which our bodies move and operate. The nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and the hundreds of billions of nerves responsible for transmitting information from the brain to the rest of the body and back again in an endless cycle. Our nervous systems allow us to move, to sense, and to act in both conscious and unconscious ways. We could not listen to, enjoy, sing, or play music without these structures. In fact, making any change in our approach to movement, particularly to the array of complex movements needed for the performance of music, means working closely with our nervous system so that any automatic, unconscious or poor habits may be replaced with healthy, constructive, and coordinate movement choices.
*Note: This information has been adapted from the NASM-PAMA documents on Musicians' Health and Safety.
Andover Educators - Body Mapping
A Painful Melody:Repetitive Strain Injury Among Musicians
Janet Horvath - Playing Less Hurt
Gia Publications - Literary Resources
Musicians and their Health Care - A Musical America Special Report
The Musician's Way
Musician's Health Collective
Stretching Activity Guide Aimed at String Players