Health information in NASM accredited U.S. university music programs: Perceptions among music administrators, piano faculty, and piano students regarding available resources and assistance



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The purpose of this study was to investigate perceptions regarding how U.S. university music programs are currently instituting guidelines set forth by the 2011 Health and Safety Standard of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for the dissemination of health information. Three related but distinct surveys were filled out by administrators (n=149), piano faculty (n=154), and piano students (n=169) at NASM-accredited higher education music programs in the U.S. Results show that overall, music programs are fulfilling NASM’s guidelines in different ways. The main categories of musicians’ health that are addressed through disseminated information fall under hearing health, musculoskeletal health, and psychological health. While greater percentages of administrators and piano faculty reported delivering health information in all three categories to students, a smaller percentage of students relayed having received comprehensive information about health and wellness at their institutions. Instrument instructors were perceived as the most effective method of delivery for health information by all three populations—administrators, piano faculty, and piano students. Thus, it appears that faculty could benefit from continuing education in health-related topics. Institutions might also create multi-pronged health promotion strategies that include not only faculty, but also involve collaborations with health-care professionals for course-based trainings and clinical assessments of students, targeted advertising efforts, and open communication among all three populations (administration, faculty, and students) to maximize the positive impact initiatives can have on university music programs’ overall health and wellness climate.



Piano student perceptions, Piano faculty perceptions, Music administrator perceptions, Performance related medical disorders, Musician's health, U.S. university music programs