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Challenges Faced by Woodwind Players in Malaysia While Fasting During Ramadan: A Case Study

Karen Anne Lonsdale, Fariba Hossein Abadi
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 33 Number 3: Page 191 (September 2018)

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Abstract: While numerous studies have investigated associations between Ramadan fasting and sports performance, as well as general health, little is known about the experiences of musicians who play while fasting. This exploratory case study aimed to gain a better understanding of the experiences of tertiary-level woodwind players who practice, rehearse, and perform while fasting. Sixteen undergraduate woodwind players from two Malaysian university music faculties completed an 11-item questionnaire, as well as a 7-day food and playing diary, which formed the basis for a semi-structured interview. Their experiences were compared with previous studies of fasting athletes. Many participants stated that practicing from noon to 3:00 pm was difficult due to feeling thirsty, hungry, tired, and exhausted, with some experiencing a dry mouth and/or lips. By 3:00 to 6:00 pm, some had difficulty focusing and felt tired, dizzy, or lacked energy to practice. Many felt more comfortable playing after breaking the fast or after eating sahur. The majority experienced positive impacts such as increased focus and efficiency while practicing. This study suggests that fasting woodwind players would benefit from practicing in the morning and after sunset, limiting their practice time in the afternoon, not skipping sahur, and ensuring adequate hydration during sunset and sunrise.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2018.3027

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