Day dedicated to Performing Arts Medicine

July 30th, 2019

Attended by doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths and a number of students
and professional performers, PAM day at UCL offered time for networking and discussions on the health and rehabilitation of performing artists. The day consisted of talks by experts in performance anxiety, hypermobility in dance, musical theatre performer rehabilitation, circus artists injuries and musicians’ clinical assessment. Delegates also got a chance to hear research studies from  MSc graduates of the course and have a workshop on musicians’ warm-up by our current MSc students.

BAPAM is closely involved with the MSc and our clinicians and registered practitioners are integral to the delivery of UCL’s Performing Arts Medicine MSc. Programme lead of the MSc and organiser of the PAM day Dr Hara Trouli is also an assessing clinician at BAPAM.

BAPAM also presented an update on current activities and plans for the future and several BAPAM practitioners also attended as part of their annual training scheme. PAM DAY offers 5 Learning hours on a UCL Certificate of Participation.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Services for Performing Artists: Guidance for the Performing Arts Sector

July 30th, 2019

Consultation Paper

BAPAM is pleased to have brought together a working group of clinicians and performing arts organisations interested in addressing challenges to the mental health and wellbeing of those who work in the sector. The group has produced guidance to support the development and delivery of services specifically for performing arts professionals and students. The guidance is designed to be used by:

• organisations commissioning or wishing to commission mental health services for performing artists

• organisations and practitioners providing mental health and wellbeing services for performing artists

• education providers offering mental health and wellbeing support to students

• individuals and agencies wishing to support best practice for performing artists

• performers and other performing arts professionals wishing to understand the standard of practice they can expect from services.

This guidance has been developed by BAPAM’s Psychosocial Working Group. We aim to make a real difference to the quality of services available. The purpose of the group is to provide a forum in which approaches to prevention, care and support can be discussed, and clinical leadership can be provided for developing and maintaining an evidence-based service designed to support performing arts professionals and students with vocation-related mental health issues. The group has drawn on the clinical evidence base, including National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, which contain reviews of published evidence for healthcare interventions from clinical and cost-effectiveness perspectives, to produce this guidance for the performing arts sector. There are seven key areas of focus:

1. Preventing Mental Health Problems
2. Early Clinical Assessment
3. Brief Intervention
4. Peer Support
5. Ensure Links with the NHS
6. Multi-disciplinary Team Approach
7. Managing a Crisis

We are publishing this paper for consultation and welcome all comments which will be considered prior to the final launch.

Read or download the paper here:

Mental Health and Wellbeing Services for Performing Artists: Guidance for the Performing Arts Sector – A Consultation Paper

Comments can be posted via the online survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NKRFVGD

The consultation is open until 15 September 2019.

Healthy Touring Checklist and Rider

July 22nd, 2019

Artists, crew, and management teams can use a Healthy Touring Checklist as part of planning for a tour and prepare a Health Rider to help people involved with the tour support artist and crew wellbeing.

Our Healthy Touring Checklist has been developed as a result of a review of the evidence, consultation with experts, and our evaluation of a series of Healthy Touring Workshops with artists awarded funding for touring by Help Musicians UK’s Do it Differently Fund.

We are working with Help Musicians UK to finalise this guidance for publication. We have made a working document available which you can download here: Healthy Touring Checklist and Rider

If you’d like to give us any feedback on this, suggestions for additional items for the checklist, or resources that can help, please email claire.cordeaux@bapam.org.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks to our original Healthy Touring Panel, our BAPAM trainers – Lucy Heyman, Dr Helen Brice and Dr Pippa Wheble – and Help Musicians UK.

Touring is a fundamental part of performance professions and, as much as it is exhilarating, it can also be intense and tiring. During this period health problems which are unmanaged can be exacerbated, and new health problems can arise. Evidence from research tells us that around 75% of performers have health problems. Like many athletes who use their bodies intensively, physical problems and pain are common and, as freelancers, performing arts professionals often have no choice other than to attempt to maintain their careers, continuing to work while suffering from and managing physical symptoms. These problems are exacerbated by, and contribute to, psychosocial issues. The touring environment (with pressures relating to travel, working late, lack of sleep and a poor diet) and the high demands artists and crew make on themselves can all lead, potentially, to deteriorating mental health. Schedules often mean that healthcare is not available when most needed.

All of these factors can impact on the success of performances, the longer-term sustainability of a career and the individuals themselves.

Being able to discuss our touring practices with someone was very valuable, it’s not often that you’re able to sit down and think about how you could improve these practices. It can feel very isolating at times so it was really good and constructive

We were able to reflect and see that the things which we found stressful and difficult about touring were actually an amalgamation of small things, most of which we could do something practical about improving.

Effective ways to warm up my vocals & easily incorporate the warm-ups to my usual pre-performance routine

Helpful strategies for coping with performance stress, work-life balance and general wellbeing

BAPAM resources used in PhD research on pain and discomfort in string players

July 16th, 2019

The International Journal of Music Education has published an article based on a PhD research which featured a BAPAM produced health resource.

The research looked at playing-related discomfort and pain among two groups of music students in a higher education establishment in Australia. The data was collected from 2007 till 2011 and students were given a copy of the BAPAM resource “Fit to Play” (which is currently being updated).

We spoke to researcher, Dr Megan Waters, who explained the reason behind the study was to gain a better understanding of the perceived impact of personal circumstances, past and present learning environments, and musical culture on the development of playing-related pain and injury among tertiary level string students.

The cohort included 29 participants and was made up of violinists, cellists and viola players. Results showed students consistently reported a high incidence of playing-related discomfort and pain which was contributed to factors related to studying music at the graduate level, orchestral rehearsals, practice, technique as well as non-playing-related activities.

The research suggested the need for educational institutions to adopt a range of preventative strategies to approach issues of playing-related pain and injury, which were recognised to be caused by multiple factors.

Musicians wanted for UCL masters research

July 2nd, 2019

Professional and amateur violinists and viola players are being sought for a study as part of a master’s thesis research project for the MSc Performing Arts Medicine programme at University College London.

The study by Sarah Lesjak will investigate how changes to the chin rest on violins and violas can affect a player’s performance.

Participants will need to be available to do a short interview in person, fill out a questionnaire and play a small piece of music before and after adjusting the chin rest.

Those wanting to take part will have to be at least 18 years old and play their instrument for a minimum of 3 hours per week.

If you or somebody you know is interested:

Contact sarah.lesjak.18@ucl.ac.uk and state – Project Interest – in the subject.

Contemporary Dance and Injury workshop

May 31st, 2019

A day dedicated to contemporary dance and injury management is taking place in the capital on 9th June. 

The event geared specifically for the dance community will take place at Core Clapton in East London. The workshops will be led by dance professionals, plus interactive demonstration on managing potential injuries common amongst dancers by one of the resident osteopaths at the centre.

For more information on the individual workshop leaders and how to book. Head to their website by clicking here

Musical theatre acts raise mental health awareness in the industry

May 24th, 2019

A group of singers who have featured in musicals in London and around the UK will be getting together for a special cabaret show to raise funds for BAPAM.

The aim of Music for the Mind – which takes place on Tuesday 4th June – is to help tackle mental health in the performing arts industry and help us in our work to support performers’ mental health.

 

Performers can see health professionals like GPs or a clinical psychologist for a free assessment for advice on mental health issues affecting them and their work.

The group of singers will be singing songs from pop to rock to soul to musical theatre.
The event starts at 7:30pm and takes place at SingEasy @ Pianoworks, West End, London, WC2H 7DH
Click here to find the list of full performers and to book tickets…

Fundraising concert for BAPAM featuring two Harpsichords

May 23rd, 2019

BAPAM relies heavily on the generosity of key funders for delivering specialised services to the performing arts community. We are also equally grateful for many individuals and local groups who also support us through fundraising at events such concerts and talks.

On Saturday 15th June at 5pm two eminent keyboard players David Hill and David Ponsford will be supporting BAPAM through a fundraising concert at a venue near the Cotswolds.

They will be playing a programme of J.S.Bach trio sonatas arranged for two harpsichords, which will include Sonatas 1,3,5 and 6.

The event has been generously organised by BAPAM’s Honorary Medical Director Dr Penny Wright and will take place at Syde Manor, Gloucestershire, GL53 9PN.

For more details/travel directions and to reserve a place, please email info@bapam.org.uk

Performing Arts Medicine (PAM) day 2019

May 21st, 2019

There’s less than a month to go until a one-day course providing an introduction to Performing Arts Medicine. The annual PAM day is aimed at health professionals, performers, those studying and working in health sciences and performance academies.

PAM day will be held on Saturday 15th June at Institute of Sports Exercise and Health in London. It is organised by those involved in the Performing Arts Medicine MSc at UCL which is run by the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science.

So, what can you expect from the day? Well experts closely involved in the sector – including several BAPAM practitioners – will be leading sessions on a wide range of topics from clinical assessment of musician’s injury to performance anxiety and hypermobility in dance.

The MSc at UCL is a unique programme providing specialised training to those interested or already involved in offering health services to this very special sector of instrumental musicians, singers, dancers, actors and other performing artists.

BAPAM is closely involved with the MSc and our clinicians and registered practitioners are integral to the delivery of UCL’s Performing Arts Medicine MSc. Programme lead of the MSc and organiser of the PAM day Dr Hara Trouli is also an assessing clinician at BAPAM.

Director Claire Cordeaux says, “we are delighted to have been involved with the MSc from the start and it is wonderful to see how it is developing. We are proud to support this programme by offering clinical observation opportunities and enormously grateful to the graduates who go on to work with us.”

BAPAM Registered Practitioners may count attendance at this event as one of their mandatory biennial Performing Arts Medicine Training Days. As this event is administered by UCL, tickets must be booked directly with UCL and discounts for BAPAM Practitioners are not available.  To book tickets click here

NHS Specialist Voice Clinics Vocal Rehabilitation Coach Pilot

May 10th, 2019

BAPAM is excited to announce the start of a new pilot project, in which we are funding a Vocal Rehabilitation Coach (VRC) to work alongside clinicians in NHS Professional Voice User Clinics.

Vocal health problems in singers and actors are often multifactorial, requiring a specialised multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis, in order to get patients onto the right pathways of treatment and rehabilitation and back to performing as quickly as possible. Over the last two years, we have been working with a group of clinical experts in this area, including Laryngologists and Voice-specialist Speech and Language Therapists, who have advised us that adding a Vocal Coach into this team – an experienced singing teacher with understanding of the clinical processes in vocal health – would further help the diagnosis and rehabilitation of performer patients. Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust already employ a Vocal Rehabilitation Coach and BAPAM has agreed to fund a VRC post across up to three NHS hospitals for a pilot year, with funding support from PPL, Help Musicians UK, Musicians’ Union and Equity, following which the pilot will be independently evaluated to assess the requirements for the VRC role and the effectiveness of this model in the care of performers. Dane Chalfin, an experienced VRC and singing teacher, is taking on the role for the initial 12 months’ pilot. The first of these BAPAM-funded clinics has just started at Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is expecting to start to offer this additional service from September, and a third NHS Trust is expected to be confirmed soon.

BAPAM undertook a survey across existing specialist Voice Clinics in order to develop the competencies required to work in this new role and these were reviewed and approved by our Vocal Health clinical experts and adopted by the BAPAM Medical Committee. There is currently no professional body able to provide formal registration of VRCs and BAPAM hopes that by facilitating a process whereby experienced vocal coaches can demonstrate that they meet a set of competencies, we can help provide a level of confidence in this role both to the NHS and to performers themselves, and reassure our funders that we are investing in the best services. Four practitioners who meet these competencies have so far been approved to join a new section of the BAPAM Directory of Practitioners as VRCs, and we are hoping to expand this number in the near future. We can provide guidance to practitioners interested in this field towards appropriate training that may be required to meet our competences.

We hope that this pilot will provide some initial evidence to support the involvement of practitioners with an educational background in the rehabilitation of performers and, specifically, the wider adoption of this practice to improve patient care in vocal health. If the pilot is successful, we hope to be able to secure funding to support substantive VRC appointments going forward via an open appointments process. This work takes place against a backdrop of developing education and science in vocal health, with practitioners at the UCL Performing Arts Medicine MSc and the MA in Vocal Pedagogy at the University of Wales undertaking exciting new studies which are increasing our understanding in this area of performing arts health. BAPAM is pleased to be able to make this small contribution to continuing improvement in vocal health for performers.

Further enquiries are welcome via info@bapam.org.uk

Related information:

BAPAM VRC Competencies