Musical Impact

Enhancing the health and wellbeing of musicians

Piano

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2013-17)

Musical Impact is a new four-year research project, starting in September 2013.

The project aims to generate new knowledge of the physical and mental demands of music making, to contribute new insight into chronic and acute health problems and their impact over time, and to examine effective strategies for health promotion. While musicians typically have a long history of self-sufficiency in managing the challenges of performing, this project aspires to complement musicians' own ingenuity by providing comprehensive, evidence-led resources to help maximise their educational and professional opportunities. 

Musical Impact is led by Conservatoires UK (CUK) - the organisation which represents nine major UK conservatoires - and involves scientists from Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University. Crucially, these centres of learning will work with professional musicians and their employers - via the Musicians' Union (MU) and the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) - as well as health practitioners and researchers linked to the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) and the International Health Humanities Network (IHHN). 

The project has three core strands of research: 

A longitudinal study of physical and mental fitness for performance

This strand investigates the incidence and extent of injuries and ill-health among musicians working in Britain, as well as the physical, psychological, environmental and musical factors that determine musicians’ health and wellbeing.

Led by Aaron Williamon (RCM), with Rosie Perkins (RCM), Helen Reid (Guildhall School) and David Wasley (Cardiff Metropolitan University).

The physical and mental demands of practising and performing

This strand studies the physical and mental demands of music making and training using cutting edge physiological monitoring equipment.

Led by Emma Redding (Trinity Laban), with Alan Watson (Cardiff University).

Health promotion in music education and the profession

This strand examines current approaches to promoting health, adapting, applying and evaluating them across music educational and professional contexts.

Led by Jane Ginsborg (Royal Northern College of Music), with Stephen Broad (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).


Further information

Project team

Liliana Araujo, RCM
Stephen Broad, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 
Jane Ginsborg
, Royal Northern College of Music 
Rosie Perkins, RCM 
Emma Redding, Trinity Laban 
Helen Reid, Guildhall School  
David Wasley, Cardiff Metropolitan University 
Alan Watson, Cardiff University 
Aaron Williamon, RCM *

* Contact aaron.williamon@rcm.ac.uk

Advisors

Howard Bird, Project Evaluator 
Deborah Charnock, BAPAM 
Paul Crawford, University of Nottingham 
Keith Motson, ABO 
John White, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon 
Diane Widdison, MU 


Back to PROJECTS
  • Twitter Logo
  • Facebook Logo
  • Instagram Logo
  • LinkedIn Logo
Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300
  • Twitter Logo
  • Facebook Logo
  • Instagram Logo
  • LinkedIn Logo