Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Intervention Program in College Instrumental Musicians, with Kinematics Analysis of Cello and Flute Playing: A Combined Program of Yogic Breathing and Muscle Strengthening-Flexibility Exercises

Sang-Hie Lee, Stephanie Carey, Rajiv Dubey, Rachel Matz
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 27 Number 2: Page 85 (June 2012)

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Abstract: College musicians encounter health risks not dissimilar to those of professional musicians. Fifteen collegiate instrumental musicians participated in the intervention program of yogic-breathing and muscle-strengthening and flexibility exercises for 8 weeks. Pre- and post-intervention data from the Health-Pain-Injury Inventory (HPI) and the Physical & Musical-Performance Efficacy Assessment Survey (PME) were analyzed for the effects of the program on the musicians¿ physical and musical-performance efficacy. HPI results showed that the majority of our sample had healthy lifestyles and minimal pain and injuries but irregular eating and exercise habits. The pre-intervention PME data showed a high level of musical efficacy (i.e., awareness of music technique, tone, and flow) but a low-level of physical efficacy (i.e., awareness of posture, tension, and movement flexibility). Post-intervention data showed that the program improved physical efficacy by increased awareness of posture and tension. In 2 volunteer musicians, kinematics motion analysis was conducted for exploratory purposes. Our cellist played the scale using a larger range of motion (ROM) in right shoulder flexion and abduction and slightly increased rotation while keeping decreased right elbow ROM after the intervention program. The flutist shifted the body weight from one foot to the other more in the second playing post-intervention. These changes can be attributed to the increased physical efficacy that allowed freedom to express musicality. Findings from these case scenarios provide empirically based hypotheses for further study. We share our experience so that others may use our model and instruments to develop studies with larger samples.

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