Musicians do a lot of physical work, which of course changes depending on the instrument they play, but there is always some degree of physical activity which could lead to injuries.
It’s very common for musicians to have injuries along their journey, but the biggest problem of all is that many musicians don’t care too much about a bit of pain in the wrist, or a bit of strain on the vocal cords.
The thing is that it should, because the more it gets sidelined the more the injury becomes worse and eventually leads you to stop performing and no one wants that.
Most of these injuries come from not learning how to play or sing properly, which is one of the first tips to avoid injuries.
A Few Common Injuries
Among the most common injuries for a musician are:
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome.
- Strained vocal cords.
- Back, neck and shoulder strain.
As you can see from your wrist to your back, your body may or may not suffer some of these injuries if you don’t learn proper techniques or put too much strain on your body.
How To Avoid Music Injuries
Learning is not just about being able to play, it’s about playing the right way in order to allow your body to feel comfortable.
This in turn lets you explore the possibilities of your instrument or voice more comfortably.And of course can prevent most injuries, which is our main focus here.
Let’s take for example a music student who is in a rock band.
Rock is very well known for going against traditional or proper techniques in favor of feeling and creativity, but this comes at a cost.
This student may have seen that one of the most common ways to play rock is down strumming, but it’s not really an easy thing to do, mostly because you need the right technique.
These little things need to be one of the top priority for music teachers, and it can be easily overlooked since you’d have to check up on every student to see if they are performing properly.
No Warm Ups
Just like an athlete, no warm ups means tension, tension leads to injuries, so teachers need to remind their students to do warm ups and be very specific on how to do it the right way.
For singers, it’s also good to warm up even days before a performance and stay hydrated.
There are no excuses to avoid warm ups, as they will make you avoid injuries and will give your body a lot more room for better performance.
Not Enough Rest
Playing and singing for hours non-stop can trigger a few injuries as well, that’s why resting is an important part of being a musician.
Accidents can happen to anyone, but if you are a musician and the affected part of your body is essential for playing, then you probably have to pay attention for a full recovery as soon as possible.
Evaluate Yourself and See a Doctor
You don’t need to be in a terrible state or in an emergency in order to go to the doctor, and this is one of the most common mistakes people make.
The idea is to avoid problems in your body and take care of things before it gets worse.
This mindset will help you be in better condition as a musician.
Parents, therapists and doctors, are very well aware of how stubborn musicians are to stop or change when and how they play, but this is a very serious subject.
If it hurts or something feels off, it’s time to do something, because it is definitely better to stop playing for a few months than to have a more permanent injury.
It sounds like plain logic right? Still musicians are still pushing their bodies beyond their limits.
In order to avoid losing the ability to perform altogether, remember to get medical help and stay in shape.
Scheduling a Technique Reminder Lesson
An easy way to remember to check on your students is to schedule regular technique checks.
As music teachers, it’s important to remember to pause and remind students of technique/posture and for those who teach advanced students, it may be a good idea to ask the students if they are experiencing any uncomfortable or painful side effects of being a musician.
To help yourself remember, perhaps schedule a particular lesson every couple months to intentionally ask and communicate with your students. You can do this easily through Music Teacher’s Helper in their lesson note section! No need to remember to do this on your own. Try out a free 30 day trial today.