Posts Tagged ‘warm up’

Research: Binaural Beats and Traditional Warm-up in Singers

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Comparison of the effect of binaural beats and traditional warm-up upon the acoustic measures in singers of the eastern and western traditions.

University College London

Performing Arts Medicine

Singing Research

As part of the innovative MSc Performing Arts Medicine programme at University College London, Soniya Sharangpani is examining the effect of binaural beats upon the quality of voicing. She is looking for female classical singers from both eastern and western traditions to participate in the project.

Participants will be asked to sing a sustained note and a phrase, tuning their voice to a decided pitch, before and after listening to binaural beats for about 10-15 minutes. The jitter and shimmer will be recorded using EGG machine (electroglottography).

After a week participants will be called again. This time, instead of listening to the binaural beats, the singers will perform warm ups for 10-15 minutes.

If you are interested in taking part please contact Soniya directly by email: for details and information sheet. All reasonable costs will be covered. The research will take place in London.

This study is approved by the UCL Research Ethics Committee. Participation is voluntary and you can leave the research at any time.

BAPAM Enhancing Performance Workshop, University of Leeds

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Katherine Lambeth, BAPAM Student Advocate at the University of Leeds Music School, reports on the Enhancing Performance Workshop which she organised at the Music School on 4th November 2012. Sessions were led by Professor Howard Bird (Rheumatologist and BAPAM Clinician), Virginia Whiteley (Physiotherapist) and Alison Loram (Alexander Technique Teacher).

Event Summary

The workshop was comprised of four sessions; I have provided a short summary about each session below along with number of attendees. In addition to these sessions I made the students aware of the Musicians Benevolent Fund Student Health Scheme and provided flyers about both this and BAPAM.

Introduction to Soft Tissue Massage: presented by Virginia Whiteley with 18 attendees

This session involved students pairing up and being taught how to find pressure points and knots in common areas of discomfort for musicians.  We were also taught how to massage these points once found and what to feel for in order to identify problem zones.

Introduction to Pilates: presented by Virginia Whiteley with 20 attendees

Each student was provided with various pieces of equipment and some of the basics of Pilates were introduced, including an explanation of how it can help musicians to prevent injury.  We were taught the basic standing positions and what to feel for, followed by a few exercises to help specific areas of the body.

Alexander Technique Presentation: presented by Alison Loram with 16 attendees

Alison presented a talk on the Alexander Technique that explained the origins of and theory behind the discipline.  She also discussed her current research into Musicians’ Health problems, particularly in violinists and violists.

RSI Presentation: presented by Howard Bird with 9 attendees

In this presentation Howard discussed what RSI involves, its most common forms and how it may be caused.

Feedback Form ‘Results’

The feedback forms asked students to comment on five areas of interest:

–  Overall impression of the day with general comments

–  Why they attended

–  Improvements on the sessions/organisation of the day

–  Anything new they’d like to see in the future

–  Would they attend another day

Responses to the first and last areas were unanimous with every student answering that they had greatly enjoyed the workshop day and that they would attend another.  The more practical ‘hands-on’ sessions generated a lot of positive responses with a quarter of respondents stating that it was specifically for this that they would attend again.  Over half of the students answered that they attended the workshop as they already had health problems that they want to deal with.  Just under half had a general interest in the activities, with some people attending for specific sessions, hence the changing numbers between sessions.  It was commented on that the variety of topics covered was appealing.

The students were very forthcoming with ideas for future workshops.  The most common responses were that they wanted more activity-based sessions, and fewer run as lectures.  Over 80% of students specified that they now wanted to have an active Alexander Technique session to get an idea of how the discipline works physically.  Multiple attendees commented that they would like to have sessions focussed on either specific parts of the body or specific instruments/instrument groups.  Several also wrote that they would like to learn about good practice and attend a one to one clinic.

In terms of logistical arrangements the day ran relatively smoothly.  Were the event to happen again, which it hopefully will, I would advise the following:

–  Ensure room bookings are made well in advance

–  Find out in advance if the main entrance to the department will be open or not

–  Provide Guest Speakers with maps of the University so they can find Music

–  Check that the projector/ any equipment required works before the day itself

Action on Feedback

In response to the feedback provided after the Workshop Day I have set up, or made enquiries about, several sessions for the new semester.  We have scheduled in the next Health Clinic already, where students can take their instrument to be seen one to one by the practitioner.  I have begun discussions with Alison Loram about running an active Alexander Technique session and have also written to Andrew Roberts (woodwind) and Ian MacDonald (BAPAM Vocal Health Advisor and Voice Coach) about running instrument specific workshops with students.  Dr Jonathan White (BAPAM Clinician) has agreed to present on healthy exam practice before the final performance exams of the year begin and I am working on getting in touch with a specialist in Performance Anxiety.  Although this was not written in the feedback from this day, I know that it affects a great number of students and will be beneficial to them as much as the aforementioned sessions will be.

Foundations for Excellence Conference 2013

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Foundations for Excellence provide information, guidance and sign-posting in the area of health and wellbeing for young musicians and dancers. In February 2013 they hold their third biennial conference at Dartington Hall in Devon, focused on nurturing and supporting talented young dancers and musicians.

Sessions will be looking at ‘Environments & Models’ to include:

Talent Development
Training the Rebel
Audition Preparation and Performance
International work in Health & Wellbeing
International Alternative Models for Education
Young Person and Emerging Artist Forum
Impact and Importance of the Learning Environment

Speakers include Prof. Dave Collins, Evelyne Allmeindinger, Gary Galbraith, Margo Rijven, Dr. Emma Redding, Rachel Rist, and Dr. Aaron Williamon.

The conference is FREE but spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis, therefore advanced booking is essential. Booking deadline is Friday 8th February 2013.

Click here for all the information and to book a place.

How to be a Healthy Musician

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

A FREE event at St Nicholas Church, Dyke Rd; Brighton.

Saturday May 19th 2012, 4-5pm.

Part of the series, The Musicians Body.

Drusilla Redman, physiotherapist, lecturer and health advisor to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and BAPAM discusses the benefits of being strong, fit and healthy in order to maximise musical potential and to handle the demands of performance.

Presented by Music Of Our Time and supported by BAPAM.

Ten Top Health Tips for Musicians

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Want to know how to help keep yourself healthy whether studying, rehearsing for a gig, or performing?

These tips are taken from the BAPAM factsheet, Don’t cramp your style – Warm-up exercises for performers, also available as an A2 poster or pocket-sized concertina version. To order printed versions have a look at our Health Resources page, where you’ll also find a lot more useful information for all performing artists. All our factsheets are produced with financial support from Help Musicians UK, the Musicians’ Union and Equity.

Ten Top Health Tips for Musicians:

1. Don’t suddenly increase the time you spend rehearsing or studying (maximum 10-minute increase per day). You should increase by ten minutes each day for three days and keep at this level for the rest of the week.

2. Leave more difficult passages and pieces for towards the middle of your practice session, when your muscles are ready and not yet tired out. Increase the speed, difficulty and intensity of the pieces you are playing as you progress though the session.

3. Don’t become obsessed with repeating a passage or gesture that you can’t quite get right. Look for alternatives.

4. Take a five-minute break every half-hour.

5. If your muscles feel overloaded, do some stretching.

6. Do as much as you can to optimise your working environment: think about lighting, noise levels, temperature. Make sure your daily routine – eating, sleeping, exercise – works for you.

7. Don’t play at the time of day when you’re most tired.

8. NEVER play if you are experiencing pain. If you feel any pain, stop playing and do some gentle stretching. If such pain does not go away or if it reappears in subsequent sessions, see a specialist in Performing Arts Medicine.

9. Do exercises to stretch your muscles before playing and whenever you feel like or need it.

10. Make sure you find time for warming up and stretching. You know you will enjoy it and it will make you feel great!

BAPAM at The Larkin Hedge School

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Sanchita Farruque, who runs BAPAM’s health education service for students, professional performers and teachers, will be in Dublin at the 2nd annual Larkin Hedge School event, on Saturday June 12th 2010. She’ll be running through pre-performance warm-up sessions, and talking about healthy practise and performance. Sanchita will be available during the day to answer questions about all health issues affecting performers from RSI to stage fright.

The Larkin Hedge School is a celebration of music, song and poetry run by the Clé Club, a traditional music and singing club based in the Cois Life Bar, Liberty Hall, Dublin.

Larkin Hedge School programme 2010