As human beings, every day can present new struggles and challenges. We may have to deal with stresses involving relationships and family matters, financial responsibilities, academics, budgeting our time between work and relaxation, or planning for our future. On top of these stressors, musicians are often asked to learn and prepare a great deal of music for ensembles, chamber groups, solo performance and lessons in short amounts of time. We demand of ourselves high standards of musicianship, beauty and technical precision, and we are willing to work hard to attain them. In the course of our musical studies and performances, we experience the stresses of competition, auditions and live performance, as well as the challenges of working together with our colleagues to create beautiful music.
Having all these stresses and activities is not necessarily a bad thing. We often derive great fulfillment and joy from our relationships, participating in multiple activities and otherwise experiencing a full and challenging life. However, if we manage our time poorly and don’t take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, we might not be able to sustain this level of activity. Physically, we may come to lack the necessary energy to do everything we want, perhaps falling ill or becoming injured. Mentally, we may lose our ability to focus and concentrate. Emotionally, we may feel our motivation wane or perhaps develop a dislike or fear of the activities we would otherwise love. We may even become so stressed or anxious that we can no longer function normally.
Wellness often involves a holistic approach to how we understand and live our lives. Our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are not separate, but one and the same. Likewise, our non-musical life has a major impact on our musical life, and vice-versa. It is necessary to learn how to balance all these different facets of life in order to achieve harmony and success in our endeavors.
We hope that the Musician Health and Wellness resource will offer you information and perspective to help manage your musical activities in a way that minimizes your risk of injury and improves your general wellness.