Many musicians are injured and many are playing in pain. In 2012, Dr. Bronwen Ackerman, Professor of Biomedical Science at the University of Sydney, surveyed members of the eight professional full time orchestras in Sydney. 84% of the musicians had experienced pain that had interfered either with playing their instrument or participating in orchestral rehearsals and performances. 50% had pain at time of the survey. Another study, done in 2008 by the American Association of Physician Assistants, found that there was a 50-76% of musicians reported musculoskeletal injuries. In comparison, a 2009 study found that the injury rate for Cirque du Soleil artists was 9.7% compared to a 15.2% injury rate for NCAA collegiate women’s gymnasts.
Ackermann, B., Driscoll, T., & Kenny, D.T. (2012). Musculoskeletal pain and injury in professional orchestral musicians in Australia. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 27(4), 181-7.
Heinan. M. (2008). A review of the unique injuries sustained by musicians. Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. 21(4), 45-6, 48, 50.
Shrier, I., Meeuwisse, W.H., Matheson, G.O., Wingfield, K., Steele, R.J., Prince, F., Hanley, J., & Montanaro, M. (2009). Injury patterns and injury rates in the circus arts: an analysis of 5 years of data from Cirque du Soleil. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 37(6), 1143-9.
Kelly Mollnow-Wilson teaches is a licensed massage therapist and Neurokinetic Therapist Level 3 as well as being a certified Body Mapper. She teaches at Oberlin Conservatory. Her "frankenflute" was altered by Alexa Still and the footjoint was modified by John Lunn.
Do you ever wish composers know the struggles we experienced while playing their pieces?
You know there are just some of those musical pieces that take a toll on your body? We love them but as in the case of our latest podcast guest, harpist Danielle Kuntz, the piece by Prokofiev she referenced just automatically is understood that you will develop tendonitis by the end of playing it.
Isn't it insane? Don't you wish composers knew how to better write for your instrument?
That's why she created THE TOOLBOX SESSIONS ( And if you hurry you can still register HERE ). It is a 3-day virtual summit designed to give you the tools you need to write for instruments & voices! From May 19-21, you'll get to join 12+ presentations on writing for specific instruments/voices (oboe, voice, harp, percussion, & more), taught by performer-educators who are passionate about collaborating with composers and arrangers. To have a $10 discount type the code TUNEDANDSTRONG22 on registration.
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