Music

Musician Health and Wellness

The Department of Music at Washburn University, as required by the National Association of Schools of Music, is obligated to inform students and faculty of health and safety issues, hazards, and procedures inherent in practice, performance, teaching and listening both in general and as applicable to their specific specializations. This includes but is not limited to information regarding hearing, vocal and musculoskeletal health, injury prevention, and the use, proper handling and operation of potentially dangerous materials, equipment and technology.

The Department of Music has developed policies, protocols, and operational procedures to guard against injury and illness in the study and practice of music, as well as to raise the awareness among our students and faculty of the connections between musicians' health, the suitability and safety of equipment and technology, and the acoustic and other health-related conditions in the University's practice, rehearsal, and performance facilities.

Individuals are personally responsible for avoiding risk and preventing injuries to themselves before, during, and after study or employment in the WU Department of Music. The policies, protocols, and operational procedures developed by the department do not alter or cancel any individual’s personal responsibility to make responsible personal decisions. They serve only to better educate and inform the students and faculty of the Department of Music.

The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment by a licensed professional, nor is it a substitute for each individual’s responsibility to cultivate his or her own healthy habits on a daily basis.

The department has adopted an approach that provides appropriate information on Musician Health and Wellness in the following fashion:

  • A departmental meeting at the beginning of each Fall semester for all new and returning students. At this meeting, among other topics, handouts on Musician Health and Wellness is distributed and discussed.
  • For students who operate specific machinery related to operations of the Department of Music, such as the operation of a chair lift or other power equipment, moving pianos, or raising and lowering of risers and acoustical shells in the recital hall, specific training shall be given, and guidelines for safe use shall be posted as appropriate.
  • Provide and encourage the use of free earplugs in those ensembles in which sound levels typically approach thresholds for hearing loss.
  • When traveling on departmental events, all students are required to submit Risk and Release forms, and, if driving a personal vehicle, a Motor Vehicle release form.
  • Information on Musician Health and Wellness can be found on the Department of Music's website. This information outlines information regarding hearing, vocal and musculoskeletal health and injury prevention (see below).

It is important for all musicians to make themselves aware of the particular health issues that relate to their instrument or voice. The articles below deal with common health concerns for anyone studying and performing in the music field. Taking proper steps now to avoid health problems will pay off in the future. Performance injuries and poor practice and performance habits can result in career-ending trauma later in life.

Protecting Your Hearing Health

Protecting Your Neuromusculoskeletal Health

Protecting Your Vocal Health

Related Health Websites

boy and girl playing violins

boy playing trumpet