Enhancing Musician Care.

Insights from Dr. Ackermann at CEERRF.

To conclude the cycle of “Australian speakers” for the period 2023-2024 at CEERRF, we have the honor to welcome Dr. Bronwen Ackermann, a renowned specialist in musician care.

Dr. Bronwen Ackermann, Associate Professor, distinguishes herself as a specialist in physiotherapy for musicians, musculoskeletal anatomist, and researcher in musician health at the University of Sydney. Her interest in health in the performing arts grew after collaborating with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 1995. She has worked to improve occupational health and develop injury prevention and management strategies in line with best practices with all major Australian orchestras, as well as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Third-year students had the opportunity to benefit from her enriching courses. Dr. Ackermann emphasized the specificities of musician care, highlighting risk factors related to repetition and the importance of active listening in treatment co-construction. She also emphasized the importance of posture in instrumental practice, noting that postural changes can reveal underlying issues to address.

Musicians face unique challenges in musculoskeletal health, with repetitive constraints that can lead to pain and affect their performances. Dr. Ackermann highlighted the complexity of managing these patients, shedding light on the difficulty of assessing instrumental performance quality, yet essential for musicians.

The courses delivered by Dr. Ackermann allowed students to explore the importance of posture in instrumental practice. Indeed, postural changes can reveal proprioception problems or muscular weaknesses to address.

In conclusion, Dr. Ackermann’s visit to CEERRF was an enriching experience for third-year students. Her expertise in musician care has raised awareness among future healthcare professionals about the importance of posture and treatment construction in improving musician health and performance. A student testimonial perfectly illustrates this experience :


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“It was during the week of February 5-9, 2024, that CEERRF had the honor of hosting Dr. B Ackermann, specialized in musician care, for courses given to the third-year class.

During this course, Dr. Ackermann explained the specificities of musician care. We started with risk factors. Like in all musculoskeletal disorders, there are risk factors (modifiable or not) specific to musicians. However, the constraints they face are of lesser intensity, but with a generally high or very high number of repetitions, which can cause pain. Pain that hinders the musician during practice and impacts their performance.

Dr. Ackermann emphasized the difficulties encountered so far in managing these patients. Indeed, for treatment objectives, physiotherapists use monitoring markers to highlight the patient’s progress. However, for musicians, pain is easily assessable, but it is difficult to evaluate the quality of instrumental play; nevertheless, this constitutes an essential objective for them. Dr. Ackermann therefore reminded us of the importance of active listening and co-decision making (EBP model) with the patient to improve care.

Finally, we were able to benefit from the courses given by Dr. Ackermann to study the importance of posture when using the instrument. This change in posture can highlight proprioception problems or muscular weaknesses that we can correct.

In conclusion, we learned that we cannot necessarily change the instrument itself, but we have an impact on the prevention and management of constraints that musicians may face. This will involve adopting/managing posture and using body weight.”

This partnership between CEERRF and renowned experts like Dr. Ackermann demonstrates the school’s commitment to providing quality education and preparing its students to meet the challenges of clinical practice in specialized fields such as musician care.