American University
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Playing with Pain: Injury Prevention Strategies for Music Schools in the United States

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posted on 2023-09-07, 05:11 authored by Garrett Hale

This research study explores the topic of playing-related musculoskeletal injuries among instrumental musicians. In particular, it seeks to determine what strategies that post-secondary music schools should implement to most effectively prevent injuries within their student populations. An extensive review of the relevant literature uncovered a small but growing body of research on the subject of playing-related injuries, including the various types of injuries and how to most effectively treat and prevent them, in addition to other factors such as the unique experience of being an injured musician and its potential effects on a professional career. To ascertain the state of the field, twenty of the top music schools in the United States were researched and seven were surveyed in-depth regarding the injury prevention strategies in use. Analysis of website and survey data revealed that while most schools offer basic forms of prevention strategies, there is room for improvement. The following recommendations are informed by study results and made using pertinent literature as supporting evidence: 1) the integration of injury prevention courses in school curricula; 2) the training of full-time school faculty in prevention strategies; and 3) the development of adequate access to specialized medical care for music students.



American University


Degree Awarded: M.A. Performing Arts. American University


Degree grantor

American University. Department of Performing Arts

Degree level

  • Masters

Submission ID