A Musician’s Guide to Injury Prevention
ZOOM 19 JUNE 2021 AT 6 PM GMT
Among the most common occupational problems that musicians encounter are musculoskeletal disorders. The main worry is that they can potentially end one’s musical career. As musicians, we are performers for the audience, which implies that we are always under observation, criticism, and comparison. Our strongest wish is to give the best performance. Any hindrance to our playing, especially when connected to our physical condition, can have devastating results on our body and mind and our sense of self-worth.
There are ways to prevent those problems. Approaches and techniques that work with the body are perfect for the musicians, such as Alexander Technique, yoga, rebalancing, shiatsu, and others. It is also essential to bring awareness to how we plan to practice, hold instruments, the ways we rest, and how to rest and relax well.
Around ten years ago, a guitarist Mislav Režić suffered focal dystonia, a professional musicians’ motor-disorder that kept him off stage for about two years. Focal dystonia is a neurological condition, a type of dystonia, that affects a muscle or group of muscles in a specific part of the body, causing involuntary muscular contractions and abnormal postures. For example, in focal hand dystonia, the fingers either curl into the palm or extend outward without control, which is devastating for players.
From the time he was diagnosed by the medical specialist doctor, throughout the treatment, to the moment he recovered, Mislav went through an ordeal. After he got well, he was determined to find the best way to recuperate fully and remain well. He went on to establish a routine that keeps his playing level high without jeopardizing his physical capacity. After the full recovery and professional comeback, Mislav has been giving talks on his experience and advice on prevention workouts and tips he uses to remain at the top of his profession.
Mislav will point out the most prevalent physical distractions that musicians face in their professional lives and describe how to prevent them. A well-planned practising routine combined with exercises may help musicians achieve long and injures-free careers. We will look at how musicians get injured, how Mislav got hurt, what has he done to heal and get back to performing, and what has he been doing to keep well and in top playing form.
1. Introduction to Musician’s Body Functioning
Mislav will introduce you to the musician’s physical apparatus and explain the complicated links between the brain and nerves that run through our arms, and how those delicate connections get damaged.
2. Professional Injuries of Musicians: Causes And Prevention
Mislav will get into more details about what causes the injuries and how to become aware of how musicians abuse their bodily apparatus during practising and performing and how to go about it.
– What are the causes of musicians’ professional injuries;
– More on Focal Dystonia, what causes it, how does it manifest, how to prevent it;
– How to plan practising;
– How bodily postures can help prevention.
3. Workout Tips for Musicians
Mislav will show and explain exercises that assist musicians keep their bodies toned and healthy. He will go into each exercise and explain how it affects the body and helps it to remain in good shape and form to play an instrument.
Mislav Režić is one of the most prominent Croatian-Greek guitarists who leads an active international career as a soloist and chamber musician. He studied at the Academy of Arts in Split, Croatia, and in the Netherlands. He obtained an MA at the Royal Conservatory The Hague and MA at the Conservatory of Maastricht. Mislav holds many national and international awards. He is the Artistic Director of the Chamber music festival Musical Evenings at St. Jerome’s in Kaštela, near Split, Croatia. Since 1999, he has been teaching at educational institutions in Croatia, the Netherlands, and Greece and giving international workshops.
A broad interest in musical styles and the ability to perform both on period and modern instruments (including the electric guitar) led Mislav to collaborations with different musicians and ensembles. Having a particular interest in contemporary music and new compositional contexts, he commissions and often gives first performances of the new works for guitar, thus enriching the instrument’s repertoire. Mislav is the founding member of the ensembles Machetes, based in the Netherlands, and Tetttix, based in Greece, specializing in contemporary music. He has been performing as a soloist and in chamber groups across Europe.
GMT (London time)
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