Health promotion in higher music education

Ginsborg, J. and Spahn, C. and Williamon, A. (2012) Health promotion in higher music education. In: Music, Health, and Wellbeing. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 356-366. ISBN 9780199686827


This chapter considers the potentially deleterious effects on performers of making music. These have been shown to include occupational stress, musculoskeletal disorders, and non-musculoskeletal disorders including performance anxiety. Such problems seem to be attributable, in part, to performers' lifestyles when they were students, according to the findings of research exploring music performance students' attitudes to health, health-promoting lifestyles, self-reported experiences of ill health, and levels of fitness. While many music colleges and university music departments recognize that it is important for health promotion to be prioritized within the curriculum, the chapter argues that the changes in training for musicians should be made from the earliest stages, so that they learn not only to prevent injury and avoid other disorders, but also to enhance their health and wellbeing.

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