Dawson, William. “Ask the Doctor: Doing Flexibility Exercises in Your Warm-up.” The Double Reed 37, no. 3 (2014): 137-40.
As small muscle athletes, performing artists need to warm-up their joints and muscles. Dawson addresses the importance, purpose and goal of warm-up exercises. He includes stretching and strengthening exercises for fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and lower back. A valuable addition to any practice regimen.
Dawson, William. “Ask the Doctor: Physical Conditioning.” The Double Reed 21, no. 3 (December 1998): 118-20.
Dawson focuses on the importance of physical conditioning for double reed musicians. He delves into cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal needs. Of particular interest to instrumentalists are the exercises for finger joints, wrist joints and tendons, elbows, shoulders, neck, and lower back.
Dawson, William. “Ask the Doctor: Playing at Your Best.” The Double Reed 24, no. 4 (2001): 95-96.
A variety of factors contribute to an instrumentalists’ ability to play at their best. In addition to health, environment, and physical conditioning, physical efficiency is key to good musicianship. Minimizing muscle tension in shoulders, hands, wrists and fingers, respiration control, and maintaining ideal posture all aid in efficient playing.
Dawson, William. “Ask the Doctor: Playing without Straining.” The Double Reed 30, no. 3 (2007): 76-78.
Dawson provides information on causes for musculoskeletal strain and tension, calling attention to kinesthetic awareness and appropriate muscular use. A variety of exercises and tools are furnishes to aid in relaxed playing.
Dawson, William. “Ask the Doctor: Preventing Physical Problems.” The Double Reed 35, no. 2 (2012): 144-46; 35, no. 3 (2012): 143-46.
A change of gears from the standard focus on pain already experienced, in this “Ask the Doctor” Dawson looks into some of the triggers for musician injuries with the intention of stopping them before they even begin. Practicing habits and philosophy, equipment, posture, good body mechanics, and minimizing tension are all discussed in the first installment of the article. The second part touches on the importance of maintaining good physical and mental health, diet, fitness and physical activity, and vision, hearing, dental, and respiratory health.
Dawson, William. “Ask the Doctor: Recognizing and Preventing Students’ Playing-Related Problems.” The Double Reed 31, no. 1 (2008): 118-20.
Dawson outlines the need for teacher awareness of student posture and playing technique to help avoid and recognize signs of student injury. He shares common causes: overuse, sudden increase in playing time, instrument misuse and incorrect posture, and playing with too much tension and force. Medical descriptions of more common injuries are given. He also addresses the role of a teacher in identifying improper or abnormal posture much like they would identify issues with a student’s embouchure. Seeking medical help is important but often physicians do not have the specialization in music-related activities and a teacher can play a valuable role injury prevention. Dawson provides some tips for intelligent practice techniques.
Dawson, William. “Caring for Your “Equipment”- Arts Medicine for the Double Reed Player.” The Double Reed 17, no. 3 (Winter 1994): 53-60.
The do’s and don’ts of health maintenance for double reed musicians. Included topics are diet, exercise, regular medical and dental care, correct use of medications, aging, smoking and alcohol, disease and noise. Includes a list of Arts Medicine Clinics in practice in 1994.
Horvath, Janet. “Playing Healthy, Staying Healthy: No Pain, All Gain: Strategies for Happy and Healthy Musicians.” The American Music Teacher 64 (October/November 2014): 26-29.
Horvath promotes education and awareness of health and body use among musicians. She addresses the importance of releasing tension, improving posture, and resting. Includes a “do’s and don’ts” checklist and an awareness worksheet. Useful for helping students better understanding their body’s pain and discomfort cues.
Jones, Carol Anne. “Music and Medicine: Preventing Performance Injuries.” Teaching Music 9 (October 2001): 22-30.
A comprehensive compilation of information for music educators and musicians. Emphasizes the importance of musician health with the perspective that their body is part of the instrument and both care and proper use are crucial. Includes lists of performing arts medicine associations and medical resources with websites and contact information.
Klickstein, Gerald. The Musicians Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Two chapters address musicians health in Klickstein’s book. Chapter 12, titled “Injury Prevention, I”, focuses on musician’s injuries, causes, warning signs, prevention and recovery. Chapter 13 “Injury Prevention, II” includes posture when sitting and standing, wrist and finger alignment, and a large section on hearing conservation. Pp. 261 has photos of incorrect and correct sitting head and neck alignment for oboists.
Lieberman, Julie Lyonn. You Are Your Instrument: The Definitive Musician’s Guide to Practice and Performance. New York: Huiksi Music, 1991.
With a goal of providing knowledge to musicians on how to use their bodies correctly to facilitate a long and healthy career, Lieberman shares her research and experiences in music medicine. She addresses muscles and tension, awareness and muscle balance, and music medicine. A large number of muscle balance exercises are given as well as a listing and brief explanation of a variety of alternative treatments and exercise practices, such as: acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, Feldenkrais, kinesiology, massage, myotherapy, yoga, tai chi, and meditation.
Pahuta, Molly. “Returning to Performance.” The Double Reed 36, no. 2 (2013): 119-23.
Pahuta shares techniques and tips on how to return to playing the oboe after an extended hiatus with attention to the physical, emotional and mental challenges a musician may face. She includes instruction on basic physical functionality and exercises concerning breathing, posture, abdominal support, and pharyngeal pressure. Emphasizes the need for a slow, mindful return to playing to ensure good habits.
Paull, Barbara, and Christine Harrison. The Athletic Musician: A Guide to Playing without Pain. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1997.
Paull and Harrison aim to help musicians better manage the physicality of musicianship by eliminating the tendency for instrumentalists to ignore the physical demands on the body and its pain response, accept that pain is normal, not seek help as a result fear for job security, and seek out ineffective or damaging treatment. Written in three parts: the problem, anatomy and applied anatomy for musicians, and the musician as an athlete. Includes information on the ergonomics of musicians and their instruments, warm-ups, exercises and stretches.
Schuring, Martin. Oboe: Art & Method. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
On pps. 27-30, Schuring addresses proper hand and finger positioning. Of special interest is the danger of the “no pain, no gain” mentality and the importance of listening to your body’s pain cues. Pps. 4-7 explain proper posture and breathing techniques.