Musicians’ health

If you have a medical problem – physical or psychological – which affects your performance we have a partnership with the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) which entitles you to a free consultation.  BAPAM give specialist health advice, and if further treatment is required, provide information about appropriate health care practitioners, taking into account your needs as a musician.

We, and BAPAM, also work with a number of organisations that provide specialist help to musicians.  These include

  • London Hand Therapy which offers support and advice for all upper limb injuries and conditions, including specialist advice and treatment for musicians
  • The Musicians’ Upper-Limb Clinic is a new initiative being launched at BMI Healthcare by Dr John White, an orthopaedic hand and upper-limb surgeon
  • Musicians' Hearing Services specialise in the specific needs of musicians and entertainment industry personnel. They provide noise level measurements and can advise on appropriate custom-made hearing conservation solutions, which are designed specifically for use by the music industry.
  • The Arts Clinic which provides a range of psychiatric and counselling services, targeted at creative professionals.

The Musicians Union also offers their members a range of advice services around health and safety issues, including performance anxiety.

BAPAM has prepared fact sheets on a number of performance health issues.  You can download pdf copies from the list below

1. Don't cramp your style                                               
Warm up excercises for musicians

2. Fit to play
Top tips for instrumental musicians

3. Fit to sing
Vocal health is about mind and body as well as voice

4. Sensible eating for performers
Finding a healthy balance with the food you eat

5. The drinks are on me
How do you manage stress, and how can you spot the signs of a drink problem?

6. I can't go on
Coping with stage fright

7. Risky business
Situations that put the musician at risk

8. Don't lose the music
Hearing loss and tinnitus

9. The acoustic guitar
Playing technique and ergonomics

The NHS Choices website has information on 116 different living well topics, from exercise to sleeping and stress and anxiety to healthy diet.

In addition, the Dancing Doctor Clinic provide a unique holistic service for musicians (both instrumentalists and singers), this works by integrating assessments from a professional musician as well as an osteopathic physician. Their approach is tailored to the needs of the individual and musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments to look at both their technique and posture. In this way we are able to help manage and prevent a wide variety of conditions.

The clinic is also open to other performing artists including dancers, singers and actors.

Help Musicians Consultation

In the coming months we will be holding a series of meetings and other consultations with musicians as part of a research project to learn more about the health and well-being needs of musicians, and how we can meet them.  We’ll be looking at a number of issues including:

  • Conditions that particularly affect musicians, like focal dystonia or vocal cord nodules
  • Injuries or conditions that can happen to anyone but which have a particular impact on musicians
  • Performance issues (such as stage fright)
  • The musician’s lifestyle – how to stay healthy and well while travelling, working and practicing  on your own, working anti-social hours, working in places where drinking is the norm, maintaining a healthy diet, and more.
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