Healthy Musicianship; Prevention, Cures and Challenges in Musician's Medicine

Eckart Altenmüller (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover)

Performing music at a professional level is one of the most complex of human accomplishments. Societal pressures and the overall increasing level of expertise and performance technique require students to work hard and to develop skills which are not only related to playing, but also to emotional communication and self-management. It therefore is essential to teach future instrumental teachers and performing musicians on one side to recognize and prevent performance related injuries, on the other side to have sufficient drive and vitality to express emotions and joyfulness in making music.

In the lecture, I will present the program we have developed in Hannover. It aims at preventing injuries and provides skills which are necessary to improve self-management, emotional communication and knowledge about the meaning of music in our society.

The program includes information about the pathophysiology of injuries caused by instrumental playing and offers a prevention program including body-relaxation techniques, performance training and management of anxieties. Biological foundations of music making and music perception are taught. The main foci here are sensorimotor aspects of music playing, motor learning, musculoskeletal injuries, performance anxiety, hearing, protection of hearing, and central nervous auditory processing. We offer small group seminars for instrumentalists in a “hands-on” format. The main aspects are movement sciences, motor learning, and efficiency in practicing.

With these courses we work on four major lines:  
* Teaching the basics of music physiology and musicians’ medicine.
* Research into the physiological and neurobiological principles of professional music performance and music perception   
* Research into the causes of occupational injuries in musicians.
* Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of such injuries.
Selected case studies and practical propositions are presented in the end of my lecture.

Friday, August 30, 14.45-15.30
Thematic Session 4: (over)load

Eckart Altenmüller

Eckart Altenmüller is a full university professor and medical doctor, and has an active research and concert career. He graduated in Medicine and in Music at the University of Freiburg, where he obtained is concert diploma in the master classes of Aurèle Nicolèt and William Bennett. His clinical training was in the Department of Neurology in Freiburg and Tübingen as a neurologist and neurophysiologist. In 1994, he became Chair and Director of the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine at Hannover University of Music and Drama, a position he has held for the past 19 years. In this role, he has continued his research into sensory-motor learning and movement disorders in musicians. Dr. Altenmüller is Member of the prestigious Göttingen Academy of Sciences since 2005 and President of the German Society for Music Physiology and Musician’s Medicine 2005-2011, Vice-President since then.

More information about Eckart Altenmüller:
* Eckart Altenmüller's Institut für Musikphysiologie und Musikermedizin