HPSM recognizes fundamental challenges in responding to the health risks associated with learning and performing music. In addition to current research showing that young musicians enter college with existing problems, the underlying physiological and psychological mechanisms for performance injuries are multidimensional and involve both individual and music-related variables as well as a myriad of social, environmental, and cultural factors. Because of this complexity, HPSM recommends Prevention Education and Intervention as the primary approach for schools of music to address these problems.
HPSM recognizes the need for a common and unifying framework that consolidates an academic agenda that focuses on individual knowledge, responsibility, and action with a coherent and integrated continuum of experiences for students. In order to be effective, Prevention Education must go beyond simply “delivering” instruction or “disseminating” information and must address issues that affect music students’ values, beliefs, and motivations.
Recommendations for a Health Promoting framework were corroborated by the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Medicine Association in the fall of 2005 and then presented to and reviewed by the Executive Committee of the National Association of Schools of Music in fall of 2005 and again in the spring of 2006.
The following HPSM consensus-based declarations and recommendations provide the basis for action. The materials are designed for consideration by schools of music administrators and faculty as suggestions for creating better environments and improved educational practices with regard to professional health of music students and the prevention of performance injuries.