Monday, August 3

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Lecture (Wellness)

  • Colburn School, Zipper Hall 200 S Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA, 90012 United States (map)

Healthy Horn Playing: Injury Prevention through Pedagogy Informed by Science

Eli Epstein, horn
Dr. Peter Iltis, medical professional

An alarming number of brass players, professional and non-professional, have developed career-limiting focal dystonia. Dr. Peter Iltis, Professor of Horn and Kinesiology at Gordon College, and Eli Epstein, veteran second horn of The Cleveland Orchestra, will present MRI films that clearly illustrate horn techniques that may lead to sustainable careers and the prevention of focal dystonia in brass players.

Dr. Peter Iltis has been conducting research for the past year in collaboration with both the Institute for Music Physiology and Musician’s Medicine (Hannover, Germany) and the MRI Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and Biomedical NMR Research in Göttingen, Germany. The research involves conducting high-speed, real-time magnetic resonance imaging of two groups performing on an MRI-compatible horn: (1) elite horn players with sustained high level performing careers and (2) horn players who have developed focal dystonia. Though the results are only preliminary, these films show consistent techniques among the elite group that are distinct from the techniques of the dystonic group. These findings may form a scientific basis of defining a horn pedagogy that leads to sustainable healthy careers and may prevent focal dystonia in future generations.

Eli Epstein, who was one of the elite subjects in the study described above, will show how the methods set forth in his book, Horn Playing from the Inside Out, A Method for All Brass Players, can lead to the healthy sustainable practices demonstrated in the elite group.