A doctorate in music and medicine

By Jan Jarvis

Music Med
 
Through a partnership with UNT Health Science Center, the University of North Texas in Denton is now offering the world’s first music doctoral degree in performing arts health.

The new concentration will focus on hearing, vocal, musculoskeletal and psychological health of musicians and other performing artists, said Sajid Surve, DO, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at UNTHSC and Kris Chesky, PhD, Professor of Music at the UNT College of Music. The two are co-directors of the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health.

Learn more about performing arts health:

The music discipline has been undergoing a transformation over the past few years, as reflected in the Texas Education Agency’s decision to require all high school and middle school music programs in Texas to teach students about health and safety related to their specialty. The requirement makes educators responsible for informing student musicians about the health-related concepts of music-making including hearing, musculoskeletal, mental, and vocal health.

“Unfortunately, for many of these areas the quality of the research that is available to inform both educators and students is either sorely lacking or absent altogether,” Dr. Surve said. “Our new degree program seeks to fill this void by training music professionals about best research practices as well as the research needs in each of these areas, and mentoring them as they conduct high-quality studies in performing arts health.”

UNTHSC will play a significant role in the program. In addition to providing faculty, UNTHSC will offer several opportunities for doctoral candidates to contribute to ongoing projects within the School of Public Health, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Physical Medicine Core Research Facility, and the Department of Family Medicine.  UNTHSC faculty will also have a pivotal role in mentoring candidates as they conduct their own dissertation projects.

The need for more research on medicine and the performing arts is clear. Some 95 percent of dancers injure their ankles, hips and shoulders. An estimated 89 percent of musicians experience injuries severe enough to affect their performances. Singers and actors endure a variety of injuries brought on by their work.

The doctoral degree will bring the full resources of the UNT System to address the need for research in performing arts health, Dr. Surve said.

“The music profession is in dire need of high quality evidence to help them as they train the next generation of music educators and students,” he said. “Doctoral candidates who have the skills to conduct the necessary research to fill these knowledge gaps will be able to benefit not just themselves, but the music and medical communities as a whole.”

Recent News

Screenshot 2024 06 20 At 3.45.01 pm
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

From sacrifice to success: a journey through physical therapy school

Ancelmo Mojarro came to Fort Worth to study. The Tyler native knew he wanted to be a physical therapist early on his undergraduate days. He embarked on his path to physical therapy a decade ago, inspired by a friend's suggestion amidst his quest to find his calling in the medical field. “I starte...
Garciarosanski
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

HSC pro bono physical therapy program offers hope

For 70-year-old Beverly Rozanski, the journey to improved health has been long and challenging. Raised in Michigan, Rozanski spent her childhood and early adult years struggling with physical challenges that made even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. However, her discovery of a pro bono p...
Mills John
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

Team of HSC experts develops national position statement for NCCHC on care for aging patients in correctional facilities

Addressing an overlooked and sometimes neglected patient population, a group of experts from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth partnered with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to write a “Care for Aging Patients in the Correctional Setting” posit...
Jennifer Fix 2 Purple
  • Education
|Jun 18, 2024

Pharmacy technician shortage driving force behind new, online prep course

A self-paced, online Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course is now being offered through The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as a way to help combat the shortage of pharmacy technicians at hospitals, health systems and retail pharmacies. Recognized by the Pharmacy Tech...