Skip to main content

Musicians' health and wellness

Injury prevention and treatment: General resources

  • The Athletic Musician: A Guide to Playing Without Pain by Barbara Paull and Christine Harrison
    RC965 P46 P38 1997, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    A methodical guide on how to prevent and manage injuries, tailored to a musician's point of view.
  • Bassist's Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health by Randall Kertz
    RC965 P46 K47 2011, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    Written specifically for electric bass players, and including information for double bass players as well, this book explains injuries and conditions prevalent in bass players and how to treat or avoid them. Features advice from top bassists such as Victor Wooten and Esperanza Spalding, as well as an easy-to-use symptom reference guide to help pinpoint sources of injury.
  • The Biology of Musical Performance and Performance-Related Injury by Alan Watson
    E-book & ML3820 W27 2009, with accompanying CD-ROM available from the 4th floor Service Desk, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    An insightful book on the anatomical aspects of music-making processes. Detailed, yet assuming no prior scientific knowledge, it explains posture, limb movements, breathing, embouchure muscles, the respiratory tract, the larynx and vocal tract, the brain, and stress. One chapter deals with the causes of performance-related injuries and how to avoid or mitigate them. Includes a CD-ROM with diagrams, animations, and videos.
  • Dr. Pascarelli's Complete Guide to Repetitive Strain Injury by Emil Pascarelli
    ​WE 175 P278d 2004, Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering

    A comprehensive general guide on repetitive strain injuries, from diagnosis to treatment to prevention. Not restricted to musicians.
  • Fit as a Fiddle: The Musician's Guide to Playing Healthy by William Dawson
    ML3820 D38 2008, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    Written for instrumentalists of all levels, this accessible book provides essential musicians' health information as well as a glossary of simple and advanced medical terms. 
  • Medical Problems of Performing Artists by the Performing Arts Medicine Association
    E-journal & RC963.6 M42, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    The first and foremost scientific medical journal devoted to health problems of performing artists. Features original peer-reviewed research papers covering a wide array of disorders, such as neurological disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, hearing disorders, and anxiety.
  • Medical Problems of the Instrumentalist Musician by Raoul Tuniana and Peter C. Amadio
    ​ML3820 M43 2000, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    A comprehensive book covering various problems that can affect instrumentalists.
  • Playing (Less) Hurt: An Injury Guide for Musicians by Janet Horvath
    ML3820 H6 2010, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    A highly recommended book on musicians' injuries. Horvath demonstrates deep knowledge of musicians' physiology and psyche, and provides specific tools to avoid and alleviate injuries.
  • Protect Your Neuromusculoskeletal and Vocal Health Every Day by the National Association of Schools of Music and the Performing Arts Medicine Association

    A handout specifically written for music students, with information on protecting yourself from the various neuromusculoskeletal issues that can affect musicians.
  • Yoga with Adriene: A YouTube channel for practicing yoga in your own home, with videos of varied lengths and goals.

Stretching resources

Alexander Technique resources

  • The Alexander Technique for Musicians by Judith Kleinman and Peter Buckoke
    ML3820 K54 2013, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    One of the most accessible guides on the Alexander Technique available for musicians. 
  • The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique: An online resource that provides information on the Alexander Technique. It has a comprehensive online bookstore of Alexander Technique resources (including a listing of guides specifically written for musicians), free articles, and listings of certified teachers by city.
  • Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique by Pedro de Alcantara
    RC965 P46 A43 1997, Marvin Duchow Music Library

    One of the most comprehensive musician-oriented books on the Alexander Technique, touching on many facets of a musician's life such as technique, sound production, practicing, rehearsal routines, performance anxiety, health problems, and even philosophy. 
  • The Resurrection of the Body: The Writings of F. Matthias Alexander edited by Edward Maisel
    BF 145 A375r 1974, Osler Library of the History of Medicine

    Compiled from some of Alexander's written works, this book introduces Alexander's teachings in his own words.

Body Mapping resources

Feldenkrais resources

  • Awareness Through Movement: Health Exercises for Personal Growth by Moshé Feldenkrais
    RA781 F44 1977, McLennan Humanities and Social Sciences Library

    Written by the pioneer of the Feldenkrais method, this book provides a practical program for a healthy mind and body. It focuses on building better body habits and increasing awareness through physical and mental exercises.
  • The Feldenkrais Guild of North America: An online resource with articles and information on the Feldenkrais method, as well as listings of Feldenkrais practitioners by country and city.
  • What is Feldenkrais? 

    An overview of the method by a Feldenkrais practitioner.

Focal dystonia resources

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) resources

Using catalogue subject headings to find information about injury prevention and treatment

Search for injury prevention and treatment resources in the Library's catalogue by linking to the following subject headings:

Instrumentalists - Health and hygiene
Music - Performance - Physiological Aspects
Musicians - Wounds and injuries
Overuse Injuries - Prevention

McGill LibraryQuestions? Ask us!
Privacy notice