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Risk Factors for Playing-related Pain among Piano Teachers

Eri Yoshimura, Anncristine Fjellman-Wiklund, Pamela Mia Paul, Cyriel Aerts, Kris Chesky
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 23 Number 3: Page 107 (September 2008)

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Abstract: Previous study on the etiology of musculoskeletal problems among elite pianists, including college piano majors, suggest that playing-related pain is traceable, in part, to intrinsic factors such as flexibility and hand size. Musculoskeletal problems among other piano groups, particularly teachers, are less understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate piano teachers and the relationships between playing-related pain and several independent variables. In a study conducted as a replication of a previous study of college pianists, results showed that 91% of piano teachers (n = 47) experience pain while playing. Data from this study support previous findings by highlighting hand size and ¿overall health¿ as important related variables. Additional findings suggest that playing-related pain among piano teachers may be positively correlated to stretching as part of warm-up and inversely related to amount of playing. Results continue to support the need for interventions that focus on changing the standard piano key size to better fit pianists with small hands.

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