Annotated Bibliography on Musician Wellness

Article excerpt


This bibliography is an extension an 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.

This 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 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 is 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. Educating the musician as well as prevention of medical problems is the general focus.

Please note that books go out of print so quickly that often it is just a matter of months before a book is no longer available. Out-of-print items can be obtained sometimes via a library and/or through inter-library 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 endnotes, if included in the book. A general viewer evaluation also is included.

Book changes from 2001 Bibliography: Montparker, Carol. (19'98) A Pianist's Landscape. Amadeus Press, 133 S.W. 2nd Ave., Ste. 450, Portland, OR 97204. (800) 327-5680. 297 pp. ISBN: 1-57467-039-5/hardback; ISBN: 1-57467-073-5/paperback.


Alderson, Richard. (1979) Complete Handbook of Voice Training. Parker Publishing Company, affiliated with Prentice-Hall, 200 Old Tappan Rd., Old Tappan, NJ 07675. (800) 835-5327. 255 pp. ISBN: 0-13-161307-3.

Although this is not a recent publication, it warrants annotation since it is a standard reference tool for teachers, therapists and choral directors. Recent publications on vocal wellness continue to refer to this text as a reliable and valuable source for vocal training techniques. Both individual and group singers are addressed.

The handbook consists of eleven chapters. Reviewed in the book are the principles of voice training; proper breathing; making the proper sounds: developing the rich voice; how to form the best vowel sound; how to train singers to change registers smooth]y; how to teach the communication of ideas, emotions and situations; strategies for developing a rich choral sound; effective procedures for choral rehearsals; teaching voice classes; and training changing voices.

Singers of all ages are discussed, and common vocal problems such as improper breathing, poor articulation, breathy tone quality, strident tone quality, nasality, tense jaw, lazy tongue and the changing voice are examined.

Recommended exercises with explanatory drawings and charts are included in each chapter. …