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Music & Medicine: Unique Collaboration Combines Performing Arts and Science
Date:7/14/2009

aid traditionally-sized keyboards do cause her pain.

"I have very small hands. When I span a chord or octave, I have to stretch my hands a lot, so I feel the tension in my arms," Yoshimura said. "There are many pieces with big chords, so the repertoire I can play is limited."

"Musicians are like athletes: they're highly motivated, and they won't tell you when they're in pain," Patterson said. "They just keep playing. Dr. Chesky has found that the repetitive use of certain muscles, hunching over, playing 24/7, causes musculoskeletal problems. We've partnered to look at this. Hopefully we'll have a long history together."

This dual-campus project has since grown, though, to include a third. George Kondraske, PhD, professor of electrical and biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington and founding director of UTA's Human Performance Institute, is joining the investigation.

Patterson said she had heard of Chesky's work with musicians, studies for which Kondraske had fashioned hardware.

"Dr. Kondraske modified what Dr. Chesky had to fit our needs," she said. "Because we both have history with him, we're rolling him into this project, and he will be included in any proposals for additional funding."

Patterson said despite the distance between the three campuses, the study has proved to be a productive partnership.

"If you have competent people on each end, it works," she said. "We've been to the Denton campus a couple of times to see the data collection. And e-mail's great."

The team hopes to continue this pilot program with more grants.

"We'll probably have enough data with this initial study to publish, but it's absolutely crucial that we expand this study and apply for federal funding," she said.

University of North Texas Health Science Center


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SOURCE University of North Texas Health Science Center
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