Music students at the Northwestern University will soon be learning more just how to hit the right notes; starting this fall, they’ll also get an education in ergonomics.
According to a recent article in the school’s newspaper, The Daily Northwestern, the university’s School of Music, in conjunction with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will start educating all music students and faculty on injuries associated with practicing and performing. The program will approach its music-centered ergonomics initiative through a combination of research, treatment and education. Heading up the program is Alice Brandfonbrener, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and medical director for performing artists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Brandfonbrener told The Daily Northwestern that injuries can start early in a musician’s career, noting that “None of the incidents are life-threatening, but some of them are career-threatening and virtually all of them are annoying to restricting.”
Whether student, amateur or professional, musicians have long been at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Even professional musicians are at risk: recently former Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr, underwent surgery for an injury associated with the repetitive nature of drumming, and Willie Nelson postponed his summer tour to undergo surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Sources: The Daily Northwestern; Country Weekly