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 major meetings as well as applied lessons and ensemble rehearsals. 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.
Instrumental Health and Safety
Instrumental music, whether it be wind, percussive or string, involves physical activity and incorporates muscular activity. Therefore, attention must be given to proper warm-up technique(s) designed to strengthen endurance and lessen the potential for physical damage, while developing endurance and muscle memory. Through a correct and researched approach designed to address daily breathing, long tones, lip slurs, and pitch flexibility individual musicians develop an understanding of proper physical development needed to perform. Additionally, percussion ensemble participants are instructed to use ear plug or noise dampening devices designed to protect against hearing loss.
Individual musicians and ensembles develop a daily routine of various warm-up techniques designed to develop muscle memory and correct breathing. These include singing, scales, lip slurs, and technical studies, all designed to enhance performance while protecting against physical injury.
Adjunct Music Instructors
The TMC Chorale is a performing ensemble for both music majors and non-music students. The main purpose of this group is to survey representative literature from the major Western historical periods and to survey contemporary literature which reflects a world music influence. For performance purposes, the group will present mainly sacred music and some secular music for school functions, churches, conventions and high schools. The Chorale will tour England and Scotland in March 2015.
Community Choir is an ensemble which is an elective choral program for the general student body and members of the community. Choral masterworks are presented with an orchestra. Recent works include Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Rutter's Requiem and Magnicat, Vivaldi's Gloria, Haydn's Te Deum, and Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer. (fall semester only)
Chamber Singers is an auditioned vocal group of 12-16 singers for both music majors and non-music majors. The main purpose of this group is to expose students to small ensemble literature from the major Western historical periods as well as vocal jazz and popular styles.
Musical Theatre is a course in performance and stage technique for singer/actors through study and performance of selected musical theatre and operatic literature. (spring semester only)
Wind Ensemble is an ensemble open by audition to all woodwind, brass, or percussion students. Performances are given at student convocations, concerts, and other activities on campus.
TMC String Orchestra is an ensemble open by audition to all string students.
Jazz Ensemble is designed to acquaint the college student with the jazz ensemble repertoire in an intimate manner. The repertoire consists of jazz ensemble music from numerous areas including swing, jazz, fusion, and "big band" literature.
Jazz Combo supplements current ensembles and provide additional opportunities for students to improvise music.
Percussion Ensemble is an ensemble open to all percussion students by audition.
Guitar Ensemble is an ensemble open to all guitar students by audition.
String Chamber Ensemble is an ensemble open to all string students by audition.
CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP ENSEMBLE:
3:16 is an auditioned small ensemble taken from the ranks of TMC Choral and Wind Symphony that performs chamber/pop gospel music literature and is featured as a performance group promoting TMC on campus and in off campus concerts and tours.