Health education literacy and mobility for musicians

Ensuring health promotion in music education to improve musician health


Led by Associate Professor Suzanne Wijsman of the UWA Conservatorium of Music, this international, interdisciplinary project builds a global research network to address the need for health education mobility and improved health literacy for musicians worldwide with the support of a Worldwide Universities Network Research Development Grant and partner institutions.

Music participation has both societal and health benefits throughout a person’s life. However, despite its global popularity and community benefits, the act of making music also involves highly repetitive actions under psychologically demanding conditions that may result in a high risk of injury for musicians, irrespective of age, musical style, genre or cultural background. 

This project seeks to ensure that health education is embedded into music education to improve musicians’ health and optimise their performance. Recognising this need in education around the world is critical for reducing the high incidence of performance-related health problems in musicians. 

An international research team formed through this project is designing a large-scale, international research program to investigate how to improve health education mobility for musicians, how to embed health education into higher education settings across multiple cultural and geographical regions, and multi-model translational applications of an existing, expert-designed online musicians’ health education resource, Sound Performers. 

Two intensive collaborative research workshops were held in 2018, the first in April was hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA, and the second in August was at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. An Insight Development Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2018-2020) has been awarded for one sub-project in this global collaboration.

The project’s research agenda was presented at the 2018 Performing Arts Medicine Association Annual Symposium in the United States, Osnabrück MusicPhysio International Congress in Germany, and Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare conference in Sydney. 



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Seek solutions to providing health education literacy and mobility for musicians

Provide approaches to embed health education into teaching practice for musicians in higher education using IT delivery

Test the efficacy of settings-based applications of online health education in varied cultural contexts

Collaboration and funding

The project builds and expands on existing Australian and international collaborations to acquire a global perspective on this important health issue.

Funded by a Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Research Development Fund Grant with generous contributions by UWA and partner universities, this project addresses the WUN Global Challenges of Public Health (non-communicable diseases) and Global Higher Education and Research.

Worldwide Universities Network logo


WUN Workshop Group Photo


Research partners

UWA researchers work with the following academics from universities around the world:

  • Dr Sonia Ranelli
  • Curtin University Professor Dawn Bennett
  • Curtin University Associate Professor Bronwen Ackermann
  • University of Sydney Associate Professor Rae de Lisle
  • University of Auckland Professor Peter Visentin
  • University of Lethbridge Assistant Professor Christine Guptill
  • University of Alberta Dr. Vera Baadjou
  • Maastricht University Bridget Rennie-Salonen
  • University of Cape Town

Associate Professor Suzanne Wijsman

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Research repository

Read more about Associate Professor Wijsman

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