Archive for the ‘Musicians’ Category

Hand Surgeon and Professor of Piano joint BAPAM clinic

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

There are intrinsic relationships between health and performance excellence, and educational and clinical expertise in the performing arts. In overcoming medical problems, specialist diagnostic and medical expertise can be complemented by performance technique and lifestyle and health-related guidance. In a new joint clinic at BAPAM, Mr Mark Phillips, Hand Surgeon, and Penelope Roskell, Professor of Piano at Trinity Laban, are exploring this opportunity for clinicians and educators to provide each other with unique insight and feedback. We asked them to tell us more about this innovative approach.

Could you explain the idea behind the joint clinic and why you decided to do it?

Mark Phillips: In my experience when treating musicians I found quite an overlap between the physician’s knowledge and the specialist physiotherapist/hand therapist’s knowledge, who’s an expert in musicians. But I soon realised there was a huge gap for the third element which is filled by the expert tutor on that instrument. I happen to be a trumpet player so as a musician I have some insight into the patient but that’s not enough when it comes to some of the issues they face. I can relate to some of the psychological performance issues, but the expectation patients have is of someone that can really understand how the technical demands of the instrument interface with the physiological problems they’re having and anatomical problems they may have and the outcome of the clinical assessment.

Penelope Roskell: The knowledge we have between us is enormous. My students have included musicians with injuries for 40 years, and so we fill in the gaps. Seeing musicians together in a joint clinic is very important because you can then see the whole picture and then decide on the best way forward. Sometimes it may be steroid injection and sometimes it may be surgery. But sometimes it may be that a tweak or a change of technique will solve that problem and reduce the need for further intervention. So, seeing them together we can get to the root cause, which we can’t always do if seeing them independently.

How do you decide if a patient would benefit from this dual approach? What can a patient expect at a typical joint session? How do you each approach the patient?

How do you prepare for a joint clinic session?

Mark Philips: Normally I will contact Penelope to say I’ve got a patient or she may say she has a student. We will both select patients for this clinic.

Penelope Roskell: Sometimes Mark will send me over a video of that person playing, so I’ll have a chance to look at it and pick out the obvious problems about what I think may be causing it. I’ll also have a clinic letter which will give some sort of background.

Mr Phillips: We then meet up for a coffee and chat about the patient. So then the patient comes in, and if it’s my patient I present it to Penelope and on one occasion Penelope presented the patient. And then we do the history in the normal way, present findings and run through it all. I then suggest what may be the anatomical or physiological problem and how that relates to this person’s technique. The technique may have worked well for a long time but now there’s a problem which is unique to them. Looking at the technique can help if I’m referring to Penelope. Or similarly if Penelope is referring to me is there a way that some of my interventions such as hand therapy or injections or my approach to examination would throw some light on the matter. It’s that overlap which is invaluable really.

Penelope Roskell: So for instance one of my students came to the last clinic and she had problems for the last year and had come to me for that reason. And Mark gave her quite a different diagnosis to what she had been given in the past, which then informed me. So now we are working slightly differently in the lessons that I have with her privately, having now had this intervention from Mark and he also suggested a steroid injection which we are waiting to see the results to. We can then see the whole picture about the ways forward, because there isn’t always one solution. A patient may need a steroid injection or piano playing adjustments to the technique.

Mark Phillips: It’s multi-faceted, there may be Alexander Technique, hand therapy and it may be someone looking at their posture. I learn so much by looking at Penelope tutoring at the piano in terms of elbow position, shoulder position and what impact that has in terms of the way the fingers lie on the key for example. Each presentation has its own unique cocktail of remedies really.

There are complex multi-faceted problems by the time they come here and it comes down to how we triage these patients essentially. I don’t bring every pianist to this clinic.

Penelope Roskell: It’s inevitably going to be someone with a piano related injury. If they’ve broken their wrist by falling down the stairs then they should go straight Mark. Whereas it’s different when it’s something like accumulated stress from years of playing with a technique which is a tiny bit off balance. They may be very experienced players and their technique has lasted them well, but there’s something that just tips it over.

Mark Phillips: What I see in my patients is that half of them have the same problem as everybody else and that may affect how they use their instrument. And the other half have instrument related problems and it may be a combination of the two. And say if someone broke their wrist a year ago and it may be throwing out their elbow, their shoulder or their posture and it may well be a good way down the line that it’ll come to me that a session with Penelope would be helpful. Because it may be to do with their elbow and shoulder which may be making some notes inaccessible and we can work around. They’re so unique each of these cases an each of them would have their own relative roles for the two of us sitting together and discussing the case. It would be good to extend this to guitar, violin and cello and get tutors to do a similar thing. And it’s pretty unique, I don’t think there’s anyone else out there in the world doing it.

What do you feel are the benefits of having an educator in a clinical setting?

Penelope Roskell: It is a very formal environment which is a positive thing and it focusses everything which is very important.

It is a sort of pilot, it’s the first of its kind and I think it is very valuable and let’s hope that other clinics may take the idea from this and develop that further.

What are the direct benefits for patients of having the educator and clinician in the same room in a clinical setting?

Mark Phillips: We often find that patients are often reticent about coming to these clinics. They really don’t want to look at their own techniques and I suppose they remember back to days when they were being tutored and they feel self-conscious. They have to want to come to this clinic and to be looked at. It isn’t like going for a piano lesson or being taught. We are looking to see whether there’s anything about their technique that may be in anyway connected to the clinical problem they have. So we’re not trying to look at the way they play from any other perspective than that. People play in lots of different ways. Also videos are really useful, anyone with a smartphone can record themselves. When we look at them we can slow them down, go back over a sequence, look at it carefully, look at it together and see how that relates to their clinical problem.

Penelope Roskell: There is something different about the joint clinics, because I’m there involved in the consultation I’m able to ask them questions from my own point of view so that I’m well informed as to how best to help them in the future. Because a piano teacher is not qualified to diagnose and that is absolutely number one and nor am I qualified to answer questions that students sometimes ask me, like should I have that steroid injection or that operation and it’s not for me to advise on that but in this situation between the three of us we can discuss the best way forward viewing it from all the different angles.

Any challenges you are finding with the joint approach?

Mark Phillips: It’s 30 minutes long, which is short. We are just getting into our flow by half an hour.

We haven’t had a chance to find out what patients think, especially how they feel about the added value of seeing us both together.

The four patients we have seen in this format have individually expressed to us they thought it was a good session and it stimulated a lot of discussion and ideas. It would be great in the future to include a hand therapist and do a proper multi-disciplinary clinic. Hand surgeons always work very closely with hand therapists. Because there are so many different joints in the hand and different diagnoses. In the hand you’ve got unique problems to one finger or there will be a combination of problems. So your hand therapy is always bespoke, it’s all tailor made to that patient so you have to discuss each patient individually and with musicians it’s even more so.

Certainly with the three most commonest instruments this is going to be a major area of growth in the next ten years and it’s very exciting.

During the half an hour the patients sense the trust we have with each other (Penelope: we work very well as a team, we both have a lot of respect for each other’s knowledge. So I think they go away feeling they’re whole picture has been seen and assessed and we are seeing them as an individual with a problem that can be resolved.)

All patients have been bought over by the end of the 30 minute sessions. You can see the reticence and slight nervousness at the start of the half an hour turning into trust and outpouring of confidence and sharing of the problem and by half an hour we are in to the nitty gritty aren’t we. The output of that is usually I will see them again or Penelope will see them again.

What they can do is continue seeing Penelope for a while and see me in the clinic two months later and see how things have been going on in the meantime. And because we know each other well we can send secure emails back and forth and stay in touch.

New Clinics in Liverpool and Belfast

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

As part of our commitment to reach and support performers throughout the UK, we are pleased and excited to announce new regional clinics, this time in Liverpool and Belfast starting in May 2019. 

BAPAM are delighted to be working with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, who will host the clinic at the Philharmonic Hall, and Dr Marie McKavanagh, a Performing Arts Medicine specialist GP (and musician).

Liverpool Philharmonic have pioneered an exemplary approach to developing and supporting performance excellence through providing specialist health and wellbeing services to orchestra musicians. The positive effects of this investment are proving that performer wellbeing and artistic excellence are interlinked. Taking care of both also makes good business sense. Performers are healthier, happier, take less time off sick and are better prepared for elite performance. Through their key support for the new BAPAM clinic, Liverpool Philharmonic are now helping to bring this approach to the whole performing arts community.

The first clinic will be held on Wednesday 1st May. 

Belfast

BAPAM are also delighted to be working with the Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast’s music hub, who will host the clinic, providing vital support for a healthy and vibrant performing arts community.

The clinic is led by Dr Christine Hunter, a BAPAM and  NHS GP and Medical Adviser to the Ulster Orchestra.

BAPAM’s Belfast Clinic will be held monthly from May 22

Who is the clinic for?

If you make a proportion of your living from, or study in the performing arts, and have a physical or psychological health problem related to your work, BAPAM can help you. BAPAM clinicians can provide an accurate diagnosis and information to help you overcome problems. The BAPAM team can identify the best sources of ongoing care, both in the NHS and from other specialists, and advise you about sources of financial support for people experiencing health problems affecting their ability to work or study.

Other regional clinics:

Glasgow: Friday 10th May, 7th June

Leeds: Thursday 2nd May

How to book a FREE confidential appointment?

Call 020 7404 8444 to register | Or email info@bapam.org.uk

A major event in Occupational Health

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Are you a freelance performer, regularly working on short contracts and short-term engagements? BAPAM in collaboration with the Occupational Medicine Department of the Royal Society of Medicine is organising an event looking at Occupational health in the performing arts. The industry is commonly termed the original gig economy as a huge proportion of the workforce are composed of freelance performers. There is also unfortunately a high number likely to become injured or have other health problems as a result of their work.

In traditional settings occupational health teams keep people well at work – physically and mentally. But when it comes to the gig economy the healthcare support for a performer may not be as certain.

Amongst other things this event on 27th March 2019 will be looking at the health and work needs of the self-employed, especially those working in this gig economy. As well as the current needs and experiences of performers when they are faced with ill health and also performance-related injury and how they can be treated back in to work.

Click here to book on to the event which promises to be a very useful day for all performers and clinicians working with performers.

  • Interested in finding out more about occupational health and performing arts, there is a collection of resources on the subject on the Society of Occupational Medicine website.

 

Free Health and Wellbeing Webinar Series with ISM

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Tuesday 5th February to Tuesday 26th February

We have teamed up with the Incorporated Society of Musicians to present a series of free webinars looking at musicians’ health. Our performance health experts will lead the sessions, exploring solutions to problems frequently encountered in music careers. For more information on each session and how to book a free place click here.

Looking after yourself on tour: Tuesday 5th February
Health in the gig economy: Wednesday 13th February
Resilience and bullying in the workplace: Tuesday 19th February
Preventing playing related injury: Tuesday 26th February

 

Music Technology Research

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Researchers at the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science are working on an international project to find out more about musicians’ use of technology.

The project, called TELMI, investigates new technologies to enhance the learning of musical instruments and develop new tools to increase efficiency, engagement, and healthy practice habits in musicians ranging from professionals to beginners.

All musicians aged 16 and over are invited to complete the following survey:

www.surveymonkey.com/r/TELMI-tech

9th International Conference for Alexander Technique in Music Education

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Greenwich, London
30 – 31 July 20-2016 

With a packed programme of workshops and presentations from Alexander Technique teachers and music teachers working at leading institutions around the world including the Juilliard School, Royal College of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, this conference will be of interest to teachers, trainees, students, music educators and those involved with health and welfare in music.

Among the teachers of the Alexander Technique presenting at the conference are BAPAM-registered practitioners, Bill Benham and Malcolm WilliamsonFind more details on the Conference website.

BAPAM Training Day November 2015 – Upper Strings

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Our next Training Day will be held in London on Saturday 21st November. The theme of the day is Upper Strings.

Our Performing Arts Medicine Training Days are ideal for healthcare professionals and others engaged in performing arts welfare who want to develop their skills in this fascinating specialism.

We present perspectives from people working in the performing arts as well as the expertise of experienced medical practitioners. This is a great opportunity to make connections and share unique insights.

We’ll be joined by professional and student musicians to demonstrate some of the issues raised in presentations including:   

Physical issues & assessment in upper string players
Dr David Fielding
GP with special interest in Musculoskeletal issues, and former BAPAM clinician.

Playing, performing, teaching
Dr Ursula Benz
Performer; Visiting Professor in Violin at Birmingham Conservatoire; Medical Doctor at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universtät Medical Faculty, Munich

Anatomy in relation to upper strings
Dr Alan Watson
Reader in Anatomy, Cardiff University

Research summary: how performance problems develop and how the Alexander Technique can help overcome them
Dr Alison Loram
Alexander Technique Teacher, BAPAM registered practitioner and violinist

Lunch is included in the ticket price.

The Event takes place at Resource for London, 365 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA

Advance booking is essential – Buy tickets here

Cancellations prior to 7 November  will be fully refunded.

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Psychological Self-care

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.

1 in 5 of us suffer from mental health problems at some point in our lives so it’s important to know how to stay happy and healthy.

Help Musicians UK asked BAPAM’s assessing psychologist, Dr Carol Chapman, to share her expertise with them. Carol works with BAPAM to advise performing arts professionals and students about mental health issues related to their work in the industry. You can read her article here:

Tips for musicians to keep mentally healthy and enhance well-being

Great advice for musicians and non-musicians alike!

Havas New Approach – International Summer Academy for Strings in Oxford

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Kató Havas is a violinist and violin and viola teacher who developed the “New Approach to violin playing”, a method of releasing physical and mental tension, which could help prevent physical injuries and anxiety related to playing the violin or viola. A frequent presenter at European String Teachers’ Associaton events, Kató’s teachings are now continued by her assistant, concert violinist, Caroline Duffner.

The summer New Approach workshop to string playing is held in the beautiful setting of St Edmund’s Hall of the University of Oxford.

This year’s Summer Academy features a presentation by Candy Connolly, introducing South Indian violin playing with the New Approach.

This workshop is suitable for students and amateurs as well as performers and teachers.

Full details including booking information can be found here: carolineduffner.com/oxford-violin-workshop-2014

Please note that this event is not organised by BAPAM and we receive no revenue from it.

 

Instrumental To Your Performance

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Drusilla Redman and Ian MacDonald host a one-day healthy practice workshop for musicians.

Please note that this event is organised independently of BAPAM

Health and the Performer

Saturday 31st May, 9:45am -16:30pm

Dance Studio, 1st floor, Lewis Building, Gower St; London, WC1E 6BP

(2 minutes from Euston Square tube station, 7 minutes from Warren St station, 10 minutes from Euston main line)

Drusilla Redman MCSP SRP – physiotherapist/dancer, UCL Performing Arts Medicine MSc lecturer.

Ian MacDonald  MSc DipRCM ARCM ALCM – laryngeal manual therapist, vocal coach, singer/musician, UCL Performing Arts Medicine MSc Course Leader.

Organised by two experienced BAPAM clinicians, the day covers detailed aspects of musicians’ health and wellbeing including:

Physical warm-up

Posture – sculpting your sound

Vocal warm-up

Breathing and embouchure

Gentle stretching

The environment, travelling and touring

How to get the best out of your body

Cool-down

For more details and booking please email:

Ian (i.macdonald@ucl.ac.uk) or
Drusilla (drusillajane@hotmail.com)

Whole Day Price £110 – Group Bookings of 3 or more £95 per person 

BAPAM receives no income from this event