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Day-to-day decisions can impact health both now and in the future.  All individuals, especially musicians who make a livelihood with music, need to make careful decisions regarding issues of hearing health, vocal health, neuromusculoskeletal health, and mental health. These are important and essential to lifelong success as a musician. If you are concerned about your health in relation to your program of study, please contact Dr. Jay Dougherty, Chairman of the Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music at Marietta College. E-mail: Phone: 740.376.4689.

Medical Referrals

Medical referrals are also available to the Harrison Center for Health and Wellness on the Marietta College campus.  Referrals are also available both through the Health and Wellness Center and the Music Department Chairman’s office for specialists in all areas through the Marietta Health Care System (Marietta Memorial Hospital).

Health and Safety Tips

Protecting Your Neuromusculoskeletal Health
  • Musicians are susceptible to numerous neuromusculoskeletal disorders due to the physical demands of practice and performing
  • Some musculoskeletal disorders are related to behavior, genetics, or are the result of trauma or injury. Genetic conditions can increase your risk of developing certain behavior-related neuromusculoskeletal disorders
  • Many neuromusculoskeletal disorders and conditions are preventable and/or treatable by following a few simple precautions
  • Sufficient physical and musical warm-up time is important
  • Proper body alignment and correct physical technique are essential
  • Regular breaks during practice and rehearsal are vital in order to prevent undue physical stress and strain. Know your body and its limits and avoid "overdoing it"
  • Set a reasonable limit on the amount of time that you will practice in a day. Avoid sudden increases in practice times
Protecting Your Hearing Health
  • Your hearing is in constant danger of being permanently damaged by loud sounds, including music
  • Noise-induced hearing loss is generally preventable. you must avoid overexposure to loud sounds, especially for long periods of time
  • The closer you are to the source of a loud sound, the greater the risk of damage to your hearing mechanisms
  • The risk of hearing loss is based on a combination of sound or loudness intensity and duration
  • Certain behaviors (controlling volume levels in practice and rehearsal, avoiding noisy environments, and turning down the volume) reduce your risk of hearing loss. Be mindful of those MP3 earbuds
  • Sounds over 85 dB (your typical vacuum cleaner) in intensity pose the greatest risk to your hearing
  • The use of earplugs and earmuffs helps to protect your hearing health
Protecting Your Vocal Health
  • Understanding basic care of the voice is essential for musicians who speak, sing and rehearse or teach
  • Practicing, rehearsing, and performing music is physically demanding — making vocal musicians susceptible to numerous vocal disorders
  • Sufficient warm-up time is important. Begin warming up mid-range, then slowly work outward to vocal pitch extremes
  • Proper alignment, adequate breath support, and correct physical technique are essential
  • It is important to set a reasonable limit on the amount of time that you will practice in a day. Regular breaks are vital in order to prevent undue physical or vocal stress and strain
  • Know your voice and its limits, and avoid overdoing it or misusing it
  • Drink plenty of water in order to keep your vocal folds adequately lubricated. Limit your use of alcohol, and avoid smoking

Handling of Hazardous Materials

Should any faculty, staff, or student see anything that could be considered hazardous materials, please do not touch or move these materials.

Please refer to the College’s Emergency Response Plan for more in-depth information regarding the protocol for all hazardous material handling and other dangerous situations.

You will find sources to assist you with all the areas mentioned above in this portion of our website.  Links are included to help with your research.