CMS Musicians’ Health Webinars 2017-2018

“The Role of Collegiate Faculty and Administrators in Addressing Musicians’ Health”

Shortly after our committee was established in 2015, the College Music Society’s Committee on Musicians’ Health was privileged to host eight webinars on the broad topic of musicians’ health, offering administrators, faculty and students a diverse range of practical strategies for addressing these important topics within the music curriculum.  These take on special importance as the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), in collaboration with the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), published a series of Health Advisories on the topics of hearing health, musculoskeletal health, vocal health and, yet to be published, mental health, with the intention of urging postsecondary schools and departments of music to pursue ways to integrate this important information into the music curriculum.  Since the first Webinar posted on the CMS website in December 2015, through its eighth Webinar in December 2016, these Webinars are now approaching 7,000 views in total.  We are pleased to work together with CMS in developing this valuable resource to help address these essential issues.  Our earlier Webinars can be viewed at the following link:

Go To Webinars

NOTE: These webinars are only available to non-CMS members once they are archived, which happens approximately 10 days after they air. CMS members may view them as they air, as a benefit of membership.

Athletes and the Arts – What Musicians Can Learn from Athletes – Randall Dick (Athletes and the Arts) & Dr. John Snyder (Loyola University)

A Musician’s Guide to the Brain: What We Need to Know and Why – Dr. Lois Svard (Bucknell University)

Addressing Issues on the Maintenance of Health and Safety in a Music Program – Dr. Linda Cockey (Salisbury University)

How to Prevent Practice Wear and Tear from Progressing to a Playing Related Musculoskeletal Disorder (PRMD”) – Dr. Serap Bastepe-Gray (Peabody Conservatory)

Challenges and Opportunities for College Professors Regarding Inclusion of Mental Health Courses in the Music Curriculum – Dr. Julie Jaffee Nagel (Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute)

Vocal Health Protocols in Academic Institutions – Dr. Emily Martin (Bucknell University)

Mindfulness Practice for Collegiate Music Students and Faculty – Dr. Vanessa Cornett (University of St. Thomas)

Hearing Wellness for Music Educators – Dr. Heather Malyuk (Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation)

We are now pleased to add to our offerings with our second series of Musicians’ Health Webinars which will run from Fall 2017 through Spring 2018.


September 15, 2017:  

Providing Collegiate Music Students the Same Healthcare that Collegiate Athletes Get” – Dr. Jeffrey Russell

Musicians undergo high physical demands and are prone injury. As future professional musicians and music teachers, university music majors deserve the same specialized healthcare offered to intercollegiate athletes. The webinar will outline how this is done at Ohio University and offer strategies for developing a similar program at your institution.

Dr. Jeff Russell serves as Assistant Professor of Athletic Training and Director of Science and Health in Artistic Performance (SHAPe) at Ohio University, where he is an athletic trainer and leads a multi-faceted performing arts medicine initiative he designed for Ohio University’s dance, music, theater, and marching band programs.


October 20, 2017:

“Demystify the Voice” – Dr. Rachael Gates

Learn what is actually happening when you “lose your voice” hear vocal myths debunked, explore diet and lifestyle choices to improve performance, understand common voice pathologies, find out about surgical techniques and precautions to take before undergoing general anesthesia, and more!

Soprano, Opera Director and Singing Health Specialist, Dr. Rachael Gates is has sung in Germany, Russia, Italy and the U.S.  She has taught at Northwestern University, The Hartt School of Music, Yale, Michigan State, and is currently Assistant Professor of Voice and Pedagogy at Grand Valley State University.  Her book, The Owner’s Manual to the Voice (Oxford) is available at The Metropolitan Opera Shop.


November 17, 2017:

“Playing With Pain: When Too Much Music Becomes a Problem” – Dr. William Dawson

The neuromusculoskeletal system is most commonly involved in playing/singing-related overuse, and pain is the commonest symptom. Dr. Dawson discusses the reasons for individual differences in prevalence, explains how both student and teacher can recognize the signs and manage the problems, and provides preventive strategies to preserve a budding musical career.

Dr. William Dawson is Past-President of the Performing Arts Medicine Association. An arts-medicine specialist, author, editor, and lecturer, he is the medical consultant to the International Double Reed Society. A symphonic bassoonist and double-reed specialist for more than 65 years, Dr. Dawson has taught low reeds privately for 20 years.


December 8, 2017:

“The Emotional Practice Environment:  How Thoughts and Moods Can Influence Muscle States and Injury Risk” – Jennie Morton

Habitual thought patterns and current emotional states are not always considered in the development of musculoskeletal injury.  This presentation will explore the neurobiological mechanisms that allow emotions and thought patterns to influence muscle tension and the perception of pain, and provide strategies for recognizing and managing these issues in both practice and performance.

Jennie Morton is a former classical ballet dancer, musical theater performer, and lead singer with a Big Band, who is now a Registered Osteopath specializing in treating instrumental musicians, vocalists and dancers.  She is the Wellness Professor at the Colburn School, adjunct faculty at Chapman University (College of Performing Arts), is on the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), and the Health and Wellness Committee for the International Society for Music Education (ISME).  She was instrumental in creating the MSc Performing Arts Medicine degree program at University College London, for whom she remains an Honorary Lecturer, and has published many articles in the field of Performing Arts Medicine.  Her book, “The Authentic Performer: Wearing A Mask and The Effect On Health” was published in 2015.


February 16, 2018:

The Role of the Teacher in Keeping Our Students Healthy” – Gail Berenson

Like athletes, musicians are using their bodies as they practice and perform, spending hours preparing for their moment in the spotlight. Teachers are the first line of defense for a music student, helping to educate students in injury-preventive strategies and offering accurate and sound advice, should an injury occur. This presentation will focus on injury preventive techniques, productive practicing strategies, building a healthy teaching environment, and defining the role teachers play in helping their students remain healthy.  Attention will be given toward encouraging students to cultivate a resourceful and imaginative practicing attitude, learning essential time management skills for more efficient practicing and developing a thoughtful working agenda that will enhance their problem-solving abilities.

Gail Berenson, Professor Emerita of Piano at Ohio University, Athens, is a powerful advocate on musicians’ health issues. She chairs the College Music Society’s Committee on Musicians’ Health, ISME’s Musicians’ Health and Wellness Special Interest Group and is the founding chair and continuing member of the NCKP Committee on Pianists’ Wellness.  Past President of Music Teachers National Association, she was the recipient of its 2015 MTNA Distinguished Service Award.


March 23, 2018:

“Team Teaching a Wellness Course” – Dr. Linda Cockey, Dr.Pat Lamboni, and Dr. Robert McBrien,

Teaching a course that educates students about musicians’ health and safety can be accomplished in many ways. This discussion will review how three professors have combined their different disciplines (music, athletic training and psychology) to develop a course that teaches the essential skills music students need in developing a musculoskeletal and psychological awareness as a musician that directly applies to healthy practice and performance techniques.

Dr. Linda Cockey teaches at Salisbury University where she is professor of piano and co-instructor of the Wellness in Performance course. She chair’s the editorial board for MTNA’s e-Journal, is a member of CMS’s musician’s health committee and a member of the wellness committee for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP). She is author of MTNA’s Annotated Bibliography on Wellness Resources.

Dr. Pat Lamboni, Head Athletic Trainer at Salisbury University, is an instructor in the Athletic Training program and co-developer with Drs. Linda Cockey and Bob McBrien for a Wellness class within the music program at Salisbury University. Lamboni works with over 450 athletes annually and 21 varsity teams where he is responsible for their care, prevention, management and rehabilitation after an injury occurs. He is a member of the Athletic Trainers Association where he has also presented.

Dr. Bob McBrien is a Professor Emeritus and adjunct professor at Salisbury University (MD). In Wellness in Performance he teaches effective peak performance skills within a Wellness model. McBrien is a certified Tai Chi instructor and author of articles about stress management. For many years before an early retirement, he was Director of the Student Counseling Center at SU.

Go To Webinars

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