This past Thursday, December 5th, NEC’s Student Activities Center hosted a physical therapy/injury prevention clinic. This clinic served to educate musicians on how to avoid playing with injuries in the first place, how to practice effectively and cautiously while injured, and how to help one’s self heal as quickly as possible after getting injured. At NEC, this clinic couldn’t be more helpful. It is common knowledge here at NEC that the pianists and string players spend hours and hours on end hidden away in a practice room perfecting their craft. For some people, this works just fine, but for others, sometimes their fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, etc. just can’t keep up with that intense of a practice session, but more often than not, the players keep on playing. This is a horrible habit considering these musicians have their careers resting on those hard working hands!
Of course, injuries can happen to any instrumentalist, and injury prevention can be just as effective for a trombonist as it is for a jazz bass player. I only use string players and pianists as my example because of how many cases of tendonitis, broken fingers, and stress fractures that my friends have experienced in this past semester alone! I, being a singer, don’t really have to deal with this much stress on my body when I’m practicing; the occasional crick in my neck, sure, shoulder tension, you bet, but that’s nothing that a little massaging and stretching can’t fix! I couldn’t even imagine how devastated I would be if I hurt one of my ribs, or a lung, or worse… if I got nodes!
Injury prevention is such an important topic for musicians and I am so glad that NEC is able to hold a clinic like this! Productive practicing is NOT just spending hours in a room playing the same phrase over and over. Productive practicing is being aware of your body while you’re playing; how does it feel? Does it hurt when you reach for that note? Do you feel confident of the music within your body?
Be engaged and aware fellow musicians! We need you to help keep our art alive!
Stay healthy my friends!
School of Continuing Education Office Assistant
Phone: (617) 585-1701
Actions for iPad is a remarkably simple way to control your classroom computer from your iPad. The best thing? You set it up the way that you need it to work. I wish tis was the way professional development worked at our school.... The english department gets the info they need while us music teachers get something meaningful and directly related to our classroom teaching!
- Sondra Radvanovsky: an immensely effective singing actress! (operaorganic.wordpress.com)
Here’s a post from one of our great student workers, Eric Stilwell, after attending the song-writing workshop at NEC during Elvis Costello’s visit to NEC!
“As a performer and composer for almost 40 years, it’s hard to believe there are awards and titles that Elvis Costello has not yet earned. This past friday, The english singer-songwriter was awarded a Doctorate of Music from the New England Conservatory‘s Contemporary improvisation department. Dr. Costello’s visit started with a workshop with students, and ended with a live interview in Jordan Hall. Wether working with The Attractions, The Roots, Paul McCartney, or college students, his love for music and creativity is clear.
In the work shop, Elvis sat in front the bands, next to CI department chair Hankus Netsky and CI ( and SCE) Faculty Eden MacAdam-Somer. The three gave advice to the performers on how to make their songs better. Having not been trained classically or formally, Dr. Costello’s advice was often in a much different style than a conservatory professor would give. While there was a clear respect for the way music is studied here at NEC, he did not stray from his own beliefs. He spoke about how textures in music can change the intensity, or paint a different picture. At one point he observed the difference between a group of people each playing their instruments, and a group of people performing together to create an image through sound.
Dr. Costello held a genuine interest in each performance, and made sure that he had an understanding of what message the performers and writers were trying to convey. His first album is titled My Aim is True, and after 40 years, the title still holds its meaning. Listening to him speak to each group, I could tell how invested he was with each one, and how invested he is in music in general. It’s amazing that after all these years he is still so passionate about creating and revolutionizing music.”
NEC School of Continuing Education Work-Study Student
B.M. Jazz Studies ’16
- Elvis Costello at N.E. Conservatory class (boston.com)
- Elvis Costello Named Honorary Doctor of Music (rollingstone.com)
- Elvis Costello Picks Up Honorary Doctorate (contactmusic.com)
- Elvis Costello and the Roots: Wise Up Ghost (Review) (popmatters.com)