Faculty and Administration
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your musical health, members of the St. Olaf music faculty may be able to offer you some assistance. These faculty members might include your primary instructor, other applied faculty, ensemble directors or academic professors. The Music faculty are here to help you and would be happy to provide assistance if you reach out to them.
Should a serious question or problem arise, you should ensure that your primary instructor is aware of your concern.
The Musician Wellness Committee is comprised of Dr. Kathryn Ananda-Owens (piano), Dr. Karl Wiederwohl (trombone/euphonium), Prof. Marita Stryker (voice), and Ellsie Covert ’25. Any of these committee members may be contacted to address your questions or concerns.
Dr. Ananda-Owens and Dr. David Carter (cello) are the Music Department Chairs. As department chairs, they can help address any concerns you may have or point you in the right direction. Their offices are located in HOM 245 and CHM 101.
The Music Department Student Committee
The Music Department Student Committee is a group of your peers who work with Music Department faculty and administration to improve your musical experience at St. Olaf. As your representatives within the music department, you can contact the student committee with comments, questions or concerns and they can voice your thoughts to the department at large. These students are your advocates in the music department. Make good use of them!
The Music Department Student Committee maintains a bulletin board located on the second floor of CHM. You can look there for more information, news, or events.
St. Olaf Wellness Center
The St. Olaf Wellness Center is located on the second floor of Buntrock Commons, room 112. The Wellness Center serves as a resource to promote awareness and education on issues relating to healthy lifestyles. Peer Educators who staff the Wellness Center are available to talk with students one-on-one during office hours. Students are encouraged to come in and talk with a Peer Educator on any health-related issue. Peer Educators are current students who present programs per month on topics such as chemical health, nutrition, relationships, sexual health and mental health. All students are welcome to attend their programs.
If you experience anxiety regarding performance, workload, injuries, or have any other concerns, Peer Educators may be able to assist you.
For hours and more details, see the website https://wp.stolaf.edu/wellness/.
St. Olaf Health Services are located in New Hall and are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (closed during student breaks and summer). Students are seen by appointment (self scheduling through the Student Health Portal) or by calling 507-786-3063. Please note that St. Olaf Health Services cannot offer referrals to physical therapy.
Doctors and Physical Therapists
Many musician injuries require the attention of a licensed physical therapist (PT). PTs require a referral from a medical doctor in order to see a patient.
There are several doctors in Northfield who will see St. Olaf students and refer them as appropriate to a physical therapist.
Dr. Ananda-Owens has compiled two lists of local/regional medical doctors and physical therapists who have worked effectively with musicians. Please refer to the “Local doctors” and “Local physical therapists” sections for more information.
Make sure you speak with your parents about finances related to medical insurance and paying for physical therapy and doctor’s visits. St. Olaf makes no recommendation or endorsement as to which doctor or therapist you should see.
Reusable earplugs are available for free in dispensers in the Band and Orchestra rooms and in the percussion practice room hallway in HOM. Practice rooms – especially in HOM – and large ensemble rehearsals can be very loud. You might consider using earplugs to protect your hearing.
Purchasing custom-made Musicians Earplugs is also a possibility.
More information can be found in the “Protect Your Hearing” section.
Additional Therapeutic and Somatic Resources
St. Olaf is fortunate to be located so near the Twin Cities, a place that has much to offer musicians concerned about health and wellness. Below is a list of resources that you may be interested in pursuing. St. Olaf does not advocate for or endorse any of these resources but we want to let you know that they are available if you choose to use them. (For more information, please see the “Complementary Practices” section).
- (To watch videos of Feldenkrais classes: http://openatm.org)
- (To find a local Feldenkrais practitioner: http://www.feldenkrais.com/practitioners/find/)
- (To find a local Alexander practitioner: http://www.amsatonline.org/teachers)
There are many massage therapists in Northfield and the greater Twin Cities area. You can Google “Massage Therapists” and include a city like “Northfield” or “Minneapolis” in the search to find an option near you.
For a list of recommended readings for instrumentalists, please refer to the “Recommended Reading” section.