“Anatomy and Injury Prevention for Musicians”
Intended for professional orchestras and university level music schools and academies, “Anatomy and Injury Prevention for Musicians” is the presentation I gave at Banff Centre in Canada in 2008 in an attempt to share the knowledge I gained in dealing with my own injury. Throughout my career I have had various teachers and colleagues tell me that I should be careful with my posture – but no one told why it was important or just how spectacularly bad things could go. Had someone sat me down with an anatomy book and explained to me how the body works and why good posture and strength is important, I would probably have been much more vigilant about these things. This is exactly the kind of information I tried to pass on with this presentation. Performance related injuries for musicians are very common, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that with a little basic knowledge of anatomy, posture and a good strategy for coping with worst case scenarios, any musician stands a much better chance of having an injury free career. Most orchestras and music academies have coping strategies for hearing related problems, and information on the subject is readily available to anyone. Information on musculoskeletal problems specifically in the music business is much harder to come by, even though they actually make up the bulk of injuries suffered by musicians. This is the gap I try to fill with this presentation.
Based on personal experience, the idea behind it was simple: To empower the listener with the knowledge I wish I had when all my troubles began. The concept was developed during a residency at the Banff Centre, where I in the winter of 2008 began my return to playing, in close collaboration with physiotherapist Hugh Simson, who was my co-presenter on the first edition of the lecture.
Subjects covered included:
- My own story, what happened and how I recovered
- Basic upper body anatomy in animated easy-to-understand 3D computer graphics
- Injuries most common to musicians
- Principles of posture and core strength
- Dealing with worst case scenarios
- Putting it all together through the example of the violin, including instrument modifications
- A question and answers session