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Edwards seminar will address music’s impact on the brain

Jan Idzikowski developed an interest in medical problems in the performing artist five or six years ago when his son, a musician studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, first came to understand that his passion for music was more than a passing notion. Idzikowski’s studies led him to become a member of the Colorado-based Performing Arts Medical Association. Since then, he has had the privilege of working with some area musicians and music teachers. He has also helped the medical director of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival with caring for members of the visiting orchestras during the past few summers.

Research into medical problems in the musicians, treatment and prevention programs is relatively nascent. Part of the mission of PAMA is to disseminate information to performers at all levels of ability about these problems, and Idzikowski’s upcoming talk, slated for Wednesday evening in Edwards, is in accordance with that mission. The startling and rapidly growing body of research about the brain and music has shown that learning and performance of music, or merely listening to music, involves more areas of the brain than any other activity. It affects our emotions, it causes us to dance, it can actually change brain function and structure. Music therapy is now used to help treat a wide variety of neurologic disorders.

Hear the latest research on music and the brain, as well as the more common medical problems encountered by musicians and fans on Wednesday evening at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards. Idzikowski, of Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, will address musculo-skeletal problems, noise-induced hearing loss and performance anxiety along with prevention and treatment of those conditions.

Idzikowski said his personal involvement with musicians, other than his son, has been rather limited, but he’s hoping that will change.

“Part of that is dependent on awareness that there is a local medical practitioner that understands these issues in performers. One hope of this talk is to bring about that awareness,” Idzikowski said.

Treatment of musicians must be similar to the philosophies of treating athletes because they share similar physical and mental demands to achieve their goals and express themselves. Injuries can jeopardize performance and even careers. So, adopting the holistic concepts of treating athletes’ physical and emotional aspects of injuries, those treating musicians and other performers, such as dancers, theatrical artists, Cirque de Soleil, use a comprehensive approach to return these talented artists to their art.

“Music is an important part of everyone’s life,” Idzikowski said. “We should value those who create and perform as we value athletes in our society. Researchers and practitioners are collaborating to bring this about.”

“Music is an important part of everyone’s life,” Idzikowski said. “We should value those who create and perform as we value athletes in our society. Researchers and practitioners are collaborating to bring this about.”


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 11, 2013 05:56PM Published Nov 11, 2013 03:48PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.