Optimizing physical and psychological health in performing musicians

Dianna T. Kenny*, Bronwen Ackermann

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Performing musicians face a number of physical, social, and psychological challenges that must be mastered if their musical career is to be both rewarding and sustainable. However, musicians are at high risk of physical and psychological strain and injury in the execution of their art. Physical and psychological stressors exert reciprocal and synergistic effects on the musician, and careful analysis of the intrinsic characteristics of the performer and the extrinsic demands on the musician must be made in order to develop appropriate interventions. This article provides an overview of the risks and challenges facing musicians, with the aim of developing awareness and understanding of how to prevent and manage these challenges. It is divided into two sections: physical challenges and psychological challenges, focusing on music-performance anxiety. Each section outlines the key issues and then provides an overview of evidence-based treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology
    EditorsSusan Hallam, Ian Cross, Michael Thaut
    Place of PublicationOxford; New York
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191743931
    ISBN (Print)9780199298457
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2008


    • Evidence-based treatment
    • Injury
    • Musical performance
    • Performance anxiety
    • Physical challenge
    • Psychological challenge


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