Health and Safety Issues for Musicians
The Music Faculty seeks to inform music majors of important issues regarding the health and safety of singers and instruments. We are committed to providing information in general music majors meetings as well as applied lessons and ensemble rehearsals. A section on hearing protection and vocal health is provided below. More information for instrumentalists is forthcoming. Please note that the information that follows is advisory in nature and not a substitute for medical care from a licensed physician.
Protecting Your Hearing
For information regarding the protection of hearing health please click on the document below titled Protect Your Hearing Every Day. This document is provided by the National Association of the Schools of Music and the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Download the NASM-PAMA Hearing Loss Guide here.
Vocal Health and Safety
Singing is a physical activity and each choral rehearsal and applied voice lesson will begin with stretching exercises that deprogram the negative postural/alignment habits of the day and establish healthy ones. Healthy vocal production is encouraged each day as singers are instructed to sing with a relaxed laryngeal position and remember to sing vowel sounds that are spacious, high, and forward. Each choral rehearsal begins with core vocal exercises that encourage singing-on-the breath, bringing head-tones down into the sound, and keeping vowel sounds spacious, high, and forward. These techniques are then reinforced in the choral literature. Healthy singing is a daily focus and students are encouraged each day to learn as much as they can about this topic.
By learning and demonstrating proper vocal technique (including warm-ups) and care of the body and vocal instrument, students will demonstrate knowledge and awareness of potential health and safety issues that may be encountered in their work as professional singers, voice teachers, and conductors. Students will also demonstrate understanding of potential performance injuries and pedagogical techniques to prevent such injuries. In addition to what is learned in applied lessons, students are also encouraged to enroll in MU 270: Vocal Methods and Pedagogy for more in-depth information on these topics.