Annotated Bibliography on Musician Wellness

Article excerpt


This bibliography is an extension and update of the Annotated Bibliography on Musician Wellness on MTNA's website: This ongoing project began in 1994, when it was first published in the Proceedings for the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, 1994-1995 (pages 293-296). MTNA has sponsored it since 1997.

The bibliography's purpose is to provide a quick resource tool for teachers and students to address the prevention of medical problems, performance preparation, stage fright, healthy practice techniques and physiological and psychological issues. The list is by no means complete, but the most recent publications in books have been annotated except for a few publications too difficult to obtain or lacking sufficient educational value.

In the last few years, more information than ever before has become available on the topic of musician wellness. Not only have many manuals and texts been written on the subject, but several journals are now adding a section on health and the musician as well.

Please note that books go out of print so quickly that sometimes it is just a matter of months before a book is no longer available. Out-of-print items sometimes can be obtained via a library and/or through interlibrary loan.

As noted in earlier bibliographies on musician wellness, these items listed may contain controversial information. Neither MTNA nor the author endorses or claims the efficacy of any product or technique. Students and teachers need to judge accordingly.

The format of the bibliography is as follows:

General information included' Author, date of publication, title, publisher, current publisher's address, phone and/or fax if available, e-mail and website information if available, number of pages and ISBN number.

Specific information included: A brief description of the content of the book, journal, website or video, the intended audience (addressing value for the instrumentalist, keyboardist and/or vocalist), the authors' approach and specific techniques (such as physiological and psychological when relevant), general research information and bibliography and/or end notes, if included in the book. A general viewer evaluation also is included.


Shockley, Rebecca Payne. (1997, second printing 2001) Mapping Music: For Faster Learning and Secure Memory, A Guide for Piano Teachers and Students. A-R Editions, Inc., 1350 Deming Way, Ste. 200, Middleton, WI 53562. (800) 736-0070; fax: (608) 831-8200. 122 pp. ISBN: 0-89579-397-0. Also translated into Korean: Myungsuh, Kim. (2002) Hanyang University Press. (02) 2290-1432-4; fax: (02) 2290-1435; ISBN 89-7218-200-1.

Wilson, Paul. (1998) Completely Calm. Penguin Books Australia Ltd., 487 Maroondah Hwy., P.O. Box 257, Ringwood, Victoria 3134, Australia. (A combined edition of two books: The Calm Technique, 1995 but also published in 1998 by Barnes and Noble, 125 pp. ISBN: 0-7607-1523-8, and Instant Calm, first published in 1995. 318 pp. ISBN: 0-452-27433-8). ISBN: 1-85471-960-2.


Berry, Susan. (2000) Healthy Ringing: For Handbells and Handchimes. Handbell Services, Inc., 1213 Mason St., Dearborn, MI 48124. (800) 37-BELLS. 200 pp. ISBN: 0-9678707-0-4.

This text provides helpful hints for avoiding injuries and what to do if one has an injury. It is an excellent resource about how one develops good physical habits, recognizing danger signals and understanding "why."

There are five parts to this book: "Anatomy of Ringing," "Ringing Basics," "Exercises for Ringing," "Care of Your Body" and "The Massed Ring."

Part One, "Anatomy of Ringing," contains three sections: major muscles used, posture and breathing.

Part Two, "Ringing Basics," has eight sections: basic grip, basic ring, basic damp (stopping the casting from vibrating), weaving and learning to shift your weight from side to side, special effects--stopped techniques: plucking, thumb damp, martellato, ring touch, mallets; nonstopped techniques: shake, toll (swing), vibrating, gyro or shimmer bell tree; bass bell ringing, multiple bell techniques and hand chimes. …