Applied Physiology for Musicians

Subject MUSI90145 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One seminar/workshop of 2 hours per week during the semester.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours



Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
T: +613 99053471 or +613 83444337
E: /

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre


Subject Overview:

This subject will focus on the practice of performing and teaching instrumental and vocal music studied through the perspective of somatic learning. Through the practical application of various approaches concerned with studying and teaching human movement, students will examine a wide range of physiological concerns facing musicians and music educators, ranging from both instrument-specific and general postural issues, through to repetitive strain injury (RSI) prevention. Through an understanding of physiology and basic anatomy, combined with awareness through movement classes, participants are challenged to consider new ways of thinking about the physical side of performing and teaching music performance.

This subject is taught into both the Master of Music (Performance Teaching) and the Master of Music (Opera Performance). Students will enrol in classes depending on their course.


On completion of the subject, students should be able to:

  • understand the broad principles of physiology and anatomy that are applicable to music performance and music performance teaching;
  • understand the concept of somatic learning and how this may be applied to the broader context of learning, teaching and performing music;
  • recognize the nature of cause and effect in repetitive strain injuries and other physical stresses among musicians;
  • apply an understanding of human movement studies to instrumental and vocal teaching and performance;
  • demonstrate observational skills of movement patterns combined with an awareness of function and quality;
  • understand pedagogical and performance problems through an enhanced knowledge of human physiology and movement; and
  • critically reflect on relevant areas of their own professional practice in light of their newly acquired knowledge of human movement and physiology.


Contribution to class discussion and lectures (10%); a critical appraisal (1000 words) due in week 6 of the semester (20%); a class presentation/demonstration on the topic of the critical appraisal of 20 minutes. duration (20%); an essay (2000 words) due the last week of semester (50%),
100% attendance is expected, less than 80% will result in a fail in the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online through the LMS prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate skills in cooperation, observation and communication;
  • demonstrate the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • demonstrate skills in evaluative thinking, and in the application of theoretical criteria to practical outcomes;
  • demonstrate analytical skills in the context of human movement.

Related Course(s): Master of Music (Opera Performance)
Master of Music (Performance Teaching)

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