Artist Development: Health

To go the distance, musicians need to be healthy in body and mind

The life of a professional musician is challenging. Orchestral players are like athletes, with huge physicality and concentration required every day.

The fellowship is sensitively structured to provide a transition to the levels of stamina required in the profession today. Through introductory sessions with leading medical experts and a resident GP, players are encouraged to devise their own sustainable routine of regular exercise and mindful wellbeing to underpin their musical pursuits.

Physical health

From the outset of their time with Southbank Sinfonia, musicians are helped to recognise their responsibility in taking genuine care of their bodies. A session with a leading physiotherapist at the start of the fellowship provides crucial advice about how orchestral players can best look after themselves.

Follow-up sessions on stretching, breathing and yoga then explore techniques to help the body recuperate after an intensive day of playing, in the process setting up musicians to enjoy a long and healthy career.

Where required, Southbank Sinfonia will help signpost musicians to an organisation or individual who can help with specific medical issues outside of our training or remit. Our excellent relationship with the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) also provides a network of physiotherapists, osteopaths, physiologists and natural help specialists.

Mental health

For any musicians, mental health is as important as physical. 

Sessions around performance anxiety and mindfulness run throughout the fellowship. Trevor Ford, a former musician turned accountant, also brings expertise around the financial practicalities of a freelance career - something which in itself can place a significant psychological burden on young musicians.

Our Artist Development Manager has been trained in supporting individuals with any mental health concerns and is readily available to consult in private at any stage throughout the year.