University of South Florida

Regional Meeting Report

The third PAMA Southeast regional meeting at the University of South Florida convened for three intense days of interdisciplinary exchange amongst accomplished performing arts and health researchers, educators, and practitioners. The conference opened with a Welcome Address by Dr. Charles Lockwood, Vice President of USF Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. Two esteemed keynote presenters set the stage for the morning’s array of topics in both music and dance. Dr. William Dawson, Professor Emeritus of Orthopedic Surgery at Northwestern University,presented the first keynote presentation,“The Best of Both Worlds: An Odyssey of Medicine and Music.” Dr. Dawson’s presentation captured the conference theme, Lifecycle of the Performing Artist, reflecting his dual career paths in medicine and music, while providing insights into the issues of aging, which require creative adaptation within the arc of one’s career.          

Dr. Tom Welsh, professor at Florida State University and a former IADMS President, delivered the second keynote presentation “Individualizing Training for Dancers.”This presentation examinedthe different training styles traditionally employed in dance and in music, exploring the benefits of individualized training (as used frequently in music) within dance training regimens. Illustrating research studies in which individualized, targeted training notably improved the dancer’s performance in issues such as pelvic alignment and developpé height, methods were suggested for integration into existing dance training curricula.

In the afternoon, another engaging keynote presentation was given by Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, entitled, “The Quality of Mercy.” Dr. Hall-Flavin, who has recently completed a Master’s degree in Medical Humanities at Cambridge University, emphasized the necessary and important humanities aspect of medicine, highlighting the intentional care and mindfulnessneeded in cultivating a healthy and supportive physician-patient relationship.

The two-day intense sessions continued with a series of diverse presentations ranging from implementing an intervention exercise program for Playing Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PRMDs) in strings players to focal dystonia assessment and rehabilitation in pianists, to transferring improved pelvic alignment in the ballet class. Performance anxiety, depression, and the psychological effects of injury were discussed within the presentations with relevant multi-dimensional wellness interventions and methods. Of particular note in the majority of these presentations was the importance of treating each artist as an individual and acknowledging that rehabilitation methods will vary amongst individuals with the same or similar diagnosis.

Conference Day 1 concluded with four intriguing poster sessions in which the audience gathered around each poster to hear a brief presentation by the author followed by brief Q&A. Although the topics were widely varied in nature, similar psycho-emotional and mental health themes were echoed in these presentations, reinforcing the need for multi-faceted training, assessment and care of performing artists.

Dr. Narducci, a USF Health physician, opened day two with a comprehensive overview of musicians’ musculoskeletal conditions.This dynamic presentation was followed by a captivating keynote presentation by Dr. M. Virginia (Ginny) Wilmerding, Research Professor at the University of New Mexico and a former IADMS President. The presentation focused on the work of Dr. Wilmerding and her collaborator, Dr. Donna Krasnow,in developing a motor learning model for dance training. Their work fills an important gap in dance education practice, placing more focused attention on the value of motor learning theory to foster movement skill acquisition in dance.The sessions included works by new researchers and collaborative interdisciplinary teams of arts and health professionals. Presentations of note were a case study of dancers’ pain perception by Madison McGrew, MSc, validation of a Dance Movement Fundamentals Skills Assessment tool by Juanita Patterson-Price, MSc and Dr. Gregory Gutierrez, and the exploration of Eastern modalities including qigong, taichi, acupressure techniques, and meditation to improve student focus, presented by David Kaplan, MD, and Stephanie Mayer-Sattin, MM.Emily Lopez, USF School of Music graduate student and the first student to earn the Certificate in Music Performance Research, presented “Effects of Integrated Mind-Body Program on Improving Breathing Techniques in College Vocalists,” which was supported byan interdisciplinary research team led by Dr. Sang-Hie Lee, Music Professor, and included Dr. Ruth Bahr, Voice Physiology professor, Dr. Stephanie Carrey, Mechanical Engineering Research Professor, and Dr. Matthew Lazinksi, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Participants were treated with several hands-on workshops:Professor Elizabeth Johnson’s session on Alexander Technique,Dr. Solee Lee-Clark’s workshop “Stretching Exercises for Pianists,”introduced stretching exercises drawn from yoga, kinesiology, and chiropractic techniques, a yoga session, jazz improvisation for PAMA folks, “Improving Movement through Neural Integration” presented by dance-science practitioners Lisa Thorngren and Dominika Borovansky Gaines.

The Conference included an evening of concert with dance and music programs and a panel session of six health providers addressing some of the questions solicited from the participants:

  • How would you as medical professionals utilize massage therapy, mindfulness, meditation, yoga and life/wellness coaching as interdisciplinary modalities?
  • When seeing a clinician who does not know much about performing arts, how can patients concisely explain the importance of performance art on a patient’s life?
  • What formal training did you have for performing arts medicine? What setting do you see patients at…your usual clinic or a separate clinic? How do you get patients – referral, advertising or word of mouth?
  • How might we strengthen communication and relationships between medical professionals and artists? What place/role do medical professionals believe “alternative, holistic and/or somatic approaches play in relationship to what “they do.”
  • Interprofessional care is extremely important for treating artists; however, education and research opportunities are limited and often discouraged at Universities. Do you think this will change, and if so how?

The provocative and interactive lunch discussions illustrated the goal of the conference which was to bring a spectrum of diverse practitioners in dialogue with one another to foster continued growth, awareness and collaboration in the field of performing arts medicine.The Regional PAMA Conference was followed by a two-day intensive Piano Pedagogy Symposium, with the theme, “Awareness, Touch and Tone, Longevity” for pianists and piano teachers. The symposium focused on the practice of biomechanically sound and healthy-efficient piano playing. Both conferences fostered beneficial intersections amongst educators, researchers, artists, and healthcare professionals.

The Conference and Symposium were supported by

  • USF Office of Research Innovation Conference Grant, ResearchOne grant, CoTA research grant, USF Health,
  • USF College of the Arts, School of Music, School of Physical and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Public Health,
  • Stonewood Bar and Grill

Collaborating organizations included The Music Gallery, Tampa Bay Symphony, Florida E.N.T and Allergy, USF Student Health Services, USF College of Nursing, USF Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation & Robotics Technologies, USF College of Behavioral and Communicative Disorders, USF College of Education, USF College of Engineering,and USF College of Medicine.



USF-PAMA Collaborative and the Performing Arts Medicine Association
Third USF-PAMA Southeast Regional Conference

Lifecycle of the Performing Artist

June 1-3, 2018

USF School of Music Barness Recital Hall

The third USF-PAMA Conference is focused on research and education of healthy practice and longevity of performing artists’ life cycle. Its scope extends to intersecting arts, medicine, ethics, and medical humanities.

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Festival Concert

USF Concert Hall

Saturday, June 2, 2018 7:30 pm

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Third USF-PAMA-The Music Gallery
Piano Pedagogy Symposium

Longevity Through Awareness of Touch and Tone

June 3-5, 2018

Barness Recital Hall & USF School of Music

Third USF-PAMA-The Music Gallery Piano Pedagogy Symposium is focused on the awareness of the body, touch and tone, coordinated techniques, mind-body
connection, and longevity in learning, teaching and playing the piano. The Symposium presents masterclasses, chamber music coaching, jazz piano, flow in music
making, and musician-tailored yoga.

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Contacts: Dr. Sang-Hie Lee
Or Je Chodil


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