The Student Health Centre in Malmö can help students with all kinds of
problems related to student life including physical, mental or social
problems. Ergonomics and instrument-specific knowledge are essential as
is knowledge of how students use their bodies in the process of making
music. Stress and other complications found in a student’s social
environment as well as study habits and progress are always in focus.
Sound environments are also in focus today, as students may fall victim
to subjective hearing disorders such as tinnitus, hyperacusis,
distortion and the like. The team of experts at the centre includes
doctors, physical therapists, curators and audiologists.
During the first week of the first year of study, students are given lectures on ergonomics for musicians and hearing as well as two group classes on physical balance in movement and the importance of resting.
Physiotherapists and doctors run seminars on the mental and physical strains associated with being a musician. These seminars are held for various student groups at the Academy.
Physiotherapists hold courses in ergonomics for musicians at the school. These courses are for students of the Music Teacher’s Programme and consist of five one hour classes held over a five week period during the first year of study. A further two hours of classes are offered in the third or forth year of study.
There are no compulsory ergonomics classes for students of the Performance and Church Music Programme, but all first year students are offered ergonomic consultations with a doctor. An optional course of 7.5 credits is offered which is named Anatomy and Physical Experience and is taught by a physiotherapist. The course provides students with information on human anatomy and stress as well as practical exercises which are carried out both with and without an instrument and where the objective is to obtain stable, relaxed positions both at rest and in movement.
The most common complaints received by the Student Health Centre concern pain and thereafter anxiety, stress and stage fright. Pain is most commonly experienced in the shoulders, arms and back. Often, pain is caused by poor posture and strain on muscles and joints. Other explanations can be stress and anxiety, which may also give physical symptoms. Experience has shown us that although ergonomics are important, the ways in which students manage tension and relaxation physically are just as important. Conversations at the centre are often focused on thoughts and feelings which affect daily activity. The ways in which everyday situations are managed can most often be linked to increased physical tension. We discuss the ways in which students manage the demands placed on them and how goals can be formulated and more easily integrated into the student's daily life. Such changes can also be significant for a student’s attitude towards him/herself and the efforts he/she makes. Self confidence and a positive self image are of vital importance for reaching good study results, and also for a student's overall health. Instruction on obtaining good habits in taking care of oneself includes getting into the habit of warming up and cooling down, giving oneself time to recover and specific exercises which aim to obtain a positive physical balance and which promote a stable and relaxed musical process. More information on ways in which a musician can improve his/her everyday living and working conditions can be obtained from the following website:
Last modified 5 Mar 2013