Posts Tagged ‘violin’

Musicians Health Research: Shoulder Blade Movements in Violinists and Violists

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Be part of a new study examining shoulder blade movements in musicians. 

Dr Dickson Fung, MSc student in Performing Arts Medicine at University College London and postgraduate violin student at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, is interested in comparing the shoulder blade movements of violinists and violists with those who do not play the instrument.

In this study, Dickson will be comparing shoulder blade movements in violinists and violists with other musicians, as well as non musicians - therefore it is most likely you can help!

Alternation in shoulder blade movement patterns (scapula dyskinesis) is thought to have a major impact in the biomechanics of the arm, which can lead to injury. This is thought to be common in violinists and violists, however there is no substantial research currently in this area.

Participants will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire, as well as to participate in a short observation of their shoulder blade movements by a health professional. This should take no more than 30-40 minutes.

If you are interested in taking part or want to know more, please contact:

Dr Dickson Fung, MSc in Performing Arts Medicine Candidate, UCL

e-mail: dickson.fung.12@ucl.ac.uk

The study will take part durng various dates in late February, March and in April.

This study is conducted as part of a MSc Dissertation at University College London, and approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee: Project ID: 5129/001. Participation is voluntary and you can leave the research at any time. If you agree to participate in the study, you will be given a detailed information sheet and a consent form.

Event Report – State of Play 2013

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Event organiser, Ian MacDonald, reports on the State of Play – A study day for performers, healthcare practitioners, music teachers, manufacturers and modifiers of musical instruments,  23rd March 2013. 

This mini-conference was inspired by all the wonderful inventions, additions and props created by passionate musicians, teachers and practitioners to assist their performing. Though for some, the process of amending and/or adjusting ‘the musical interface’ (the instrument) is second nature – better facilitating them to do what they love – it strikes me that it is still generally considered a black art.

Where adapting the traditional instrument dimensions in a bespoke manner really comes into its own, is in helping youngsters play instruments without injury and in helping musicians recover from injury and accident. There is also amazing work being done with disabled children and adults at places like www.joyofsound.net, creating guitars that have special vibrating panels for deaf people, cellos that are fixed and angled to make wheelchair approach possible, two-way zithers that have double docking space for two wheelchair users to sit at it etc.

Playing aids, props, straps, rests etc are of course of interest to clinicians and practitioners working with performers but often either practitioners don’t know specific items exist, or have seen products on the web but are not sure how they work in practice or indeed if they actually work safely as empirical evidence supporting the marketing claims is difficult to find.

State of Play delegates were a mixture of professional performers, conservatoire teachers, students, lecturers, researchers, healthcare professionals, musicians and a dancer. A number had suffered some form of nerve compression problem in the past so had a vested interest in the presenting subject. Across the board, feedback about the day was positive with particular pleasure from all in seeing a right-handed trumpet being taken apart by Dave Woodhead then reassembled for a left-handed player with cable ties in about 5 minutes; perfectly playable with no need for any new bits to be made. Dave explained to us that there is no limit to adjustments you can make to brass instruments. Materials can be changed for look, weight or to avoid allergic reaction. Crooks (U-shaped bits of the tubing) and the direction of tubing can be shaped and amended to suit hand size, arm length, neck length or to assist getting back to playing again post-trauma….in fact there is now a small plastic trombone on the market that is light and easier to control even if you are a small person of 6 or 7. And it sounds okay too!

Marcus Reynolds presented his invention, Stratos, demonstrating it with a nifty trombone solo. He has worked on the Stratos for many years, since a serious accident left him injured. The device is used to facilitate better lip, jaw and head posture for trombonist (and for all other brass instrumentalists) as well as to provide structural and stabilising support. It was great news to hear that he is now getting commissions from all over the country to reward him for the dedicated years, time, money and sheer genius of creation.

The afternoon gave us the duet of Nicole Wilson and Helena Wood, violinists with ENO Orchestra. All the delegates agreed that these two musicians could go on the road with a fantastic presentation covering their experience in the working environment, ergonomics, musicianship, technical expertise, knowledge of the great variety of available equipment (e.g. chin and neck rests, seating) and their extremely funny way of communicating all these ideas.

Guitar tutor, Paul Sogaard rounded off the day, expertly reviewing the different posture issues faced by the three main designs of guitar, acoustic, electric and bass. As a long time member of the BAPAM Directory of Performing Arts Medicine Practitioners, he focused on many of the ergonomic problems tackled by musicians, demonstrating the various adjustments to the guitar interface and discussing the eternal questions of what additional tools and equipment (if any) to use… Again, research into the long term health benefits of using foot stool, neck straps or ergoplay support is sparse.

Student Research Projects

The day also included representatives from the first year of the MSc in Performing Arts Medicine with presentations from Efthalia Palaiokastriti, Physiotherapist and guitarist (Investigating functional scoliosis in guitarists using different guitar support tools), Isabel Artigues Cano, Physiotherapist and flautist (Evaluating hypermobility of finger joints in flautists) and Dr Hara Trouli’s (Performance measures in pianists with clinical sympomatology in the upper limbs: a cross-sectional study using EMG, digital pianos recordings and video postural analysis).

Taubman Approach Symposium

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

The Golandsky Institute present a symposium on the Taubman Approach, an instrumental playing technique that many musicians find useful in preventing playing related injuries and in overcoming problems if they do occur. The symposium will cover the application of the technique to both piano and violin.

The Symposium takes place at St John’s College, Cambridge, March 23rd and 24th 2013.

Further information and booking

 

Musical Instrument Appeal

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Photo: Paul J S

BAPAM needs new (old) toys! We’re putting out a request for donations of unwanted musical instruments – of any kind (though we don’t have room for a Wurlitzer) – Brass, Woodwind, Strings, Percussion. Even parts of instruments and broken instruments:

Unwanted
Old
Broken
Stringless
Chin rest without the instrument
Without mouthpieces
Damaged pads

We help musicians with medical problems caused by or affecting their playing. Our doctors need to see how musicians’ bodies work with their instruments, honing our expertise in instrument ergonomics, and our understanding of their composition and construction.

BAPAM has a key role in training medical practitioners through the Performing Arts Medicine MSc qualification at University College London.  Getting to grips with these occasionally obscure implements is an integral part of the MSc learning experience. We need Performing Arts Medicine specialists to know their autoharp from their euphonium.

Photo: Kaensu

So can you help us? Do you have old, unloved musical instruments taking up space in your life? Email Ian.Macdonald@bapam.org.uk and we’ll gratefully give them a new home.

Violinists and Viola Players Research

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Violinists and viola players – would you like to find out more about how to optimise your playing?

Photo: Mel B.

Postgraduate student and violinist, Dr Alison Loram, is looking for student, professional and amateur violinists and viola players for her study.

The study, in collaboration with University College London and Manchester Metropolitan University, aims to understand more about the neuromuscular aspects of playing the violin/viola, and the effects that these may have upon musculoskeletal and other playing-related problems.

Alison believes that violinists and viola players taking part will benefit from the insights gained: “You will have the opportunity to see how your neck and shoulder muscles are involved in holding and playing your instrument, the bodily movements you make, and how these may be optimised to enhance your playing and reduce/prevent muscular tension”.

The study is open to any student, professional or experienced amateur (regardless of whether or not you have playing-related problems), and will involve attending one individual 2-hour session during May, July/August or September.  The confidential session (to be held at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester City Centre near to the Royal Northern College of Music), will involve standing and playing your instrument for very short periods whilst your muscular activity and movements are recorded and analysed using ultrasound scanning and movement analysis equipment.  No preparation is required.

Participation is voluntary and you can leave the research at any time. If you agree to participate in the study, you will be given a detailed information sheet and a consent form.

For further details or to sign up for the study, please contact Dr Alison Loram directly by emailing alison@loram8.freeserve.co.uk

Please share this article amongst any family, friends or colleagues you think may be interested in participating.

Note: This research project is not being conducted by BAPAM. The project has official ethics approval from UCL (University College of London) and is covered by UCL’s data protection protocol.

BAPAM November Training Day Programme

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Our November 19th Training Event focusses on Long Term Health Issues Affecting Performing Artists with presentations covering:

Sensory Motor Release (GP/Physio)

Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation of Disabled, Elderly and Multi-talented Performers (Rheumatologist)

Chronic Pain (Rheumatologist)

Ageing and Performance Q&A with Gabrielle Hamilton (actor), Fergus Early (dancer) and Catherine Butler Smith (musician)

Plus, performing arts medicine practitioners can learn from and with professional musicians in two practical sessions with violinist (and Alexander Technique teacher), Ron Colyer, and clarinettist, Andrew Roberts.

Click here to download the programme

Please note this event is now fully booked.

Attendees should come to the main reception of:

Franklin-Wilkins Building
Stamford Street
London
SE1 9NH

Venue information: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/about/campuses/waterloo.html