Researchers, musicians and treatment providers from all over the world gathered in Odense, to exchange best practices about typical injuries and treatment methods for musicians.
With the conference, Musicians’ Health & Performance 2nd Conference 2015, Odense sets the tone with three intense days, of working on musician’s working and health conditions. Researchers, physiotherapists, psychologists, doctors and treatment providers in Alexander technique and musicians from all over the world gathered in the Concert Hall, to discuss and learn about health conditions for musicians.
Doctor at the Clinique for Performing Arts Medicine at Odense University Hospital, Helene M. Paarup is host and main organizer of the conference and describes networking as the key ingredient at the conference:
– The contacts that are made across professions and nationalities are crucial. It is of great importance that researchers, musicians and treatment providers can meet and exchange experiences across nations. It has surprised me, how much value it provides to the participants.
Problems with muscles and joints
One thing that emerged from the conference was that musicians are a group that often has problems with muscles and joints. They can have problems with their hearing, tinnitus and a row of psychological problems like stress, bad sleep and stage fright. Often, they live with the problems for too long, because they are busy with their music and the pursuit for the perfect soundscape, or because they are busy, trying to get new jobs and secure their income and work.
As examples of how to prevent and ease pains, workshops were held in physiotherapy with explanation of what happens in the body when an overloaded occur. There were also workshops with focus on training relaxation and relevant exercises for warm up and stretching.
Another workshop focused on the psychology of going to auditions and it took its focus point in the individual’s fright, insecurity and doubts about interpreting competitors and judges. It gave concrete tools in how to use body language and pre-visualization, can strengthen the impression you give and find more calm. There were several workshops with education in Alexander technique, which takes its starting point in the musician’s movement with and without their instrument, they work with attaining better posture and try to find more appropriate and balanced movements to spare the body of unnecessary stress.
Top athletes’ training as a starting point
When a scientific a proven plan for musicians training were presented it got special attention. It is based on top athlete’s training, and accounts for training objectives and programs that involves psychological objectives, physical objectives, diets and with clear-cut guidelines for rehabilitation after an injury has occurred.
When you talk about musicians work and about the education of musicians it is natural to touch upon the topic of experiencing art, both the finished performance and how the practice goes on in small bites and is rehearsed over and over again in striving for perfection.
As an example of how patience, discipline and the ability to play together and practice short phrases with great patience, all participants were invited to see and hear Odense’s Symphony orchestra’s first rehearsal of their program for the coming concert.
The baton is passed on to Helsinki in 2018
The conference was held from the 10th to the 12th of June in Odense Concert Hall and was organized by Center for Performing Arts Medicine. Which is a collaboration between Work- and Environment Medical Clinique at the Odense University Hospital and several other units and institutes from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), among those is the research unit for Work- and Environment at SDU and the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at SDU. On the last day of the conference, it was made public that the next conference in the row, namely the Musicians’ Health & Performance 3rd Conference is to be held in Helsinki in 2018.