Educating Australian musicians: are we playing it safe?

Suzanne Irene Wijsman, Bronwen J Ackermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of health promotion through arts engagement, and the health benefits and social importance of music in particular, are becoming increasingly recognised. However, like sport, music-making is an athletic endeavour, one that often involves high physiological and psychological loadings on the bodies and minds of musicians. Research over the past 30 years has revealed alarming rates of injury among musicians, and has identified health risk factors associated with music performance faced by professional and student musicians. Australia lacks consistent provision of essential health education for musicians, and research shows an unacceptably high prevalence of performance-related health problems among musicians of all ages. This paper advocates for effective health promotion to be embraced in the policies and practices of Australian music performance organisations and educational bodies. It argues that a cultural shift is required, recognizing that a settings-based approach to health literacy is as fundamentally important for musicians as it is for any other occupation or athletic activity. Embedding health education into the delivery of music education will not only help to prevent injury over the lifespan of Australian musicians, it will support and sustain their capacity to contribute towards societal wellbeing and public health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-876
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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