The Australian National University
Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference
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Dr Peter Bragge



Peter Bragge is a pianist, piano teacher and physiotherapist with a special interest in musicians’ injuries. He gained his L.T.C.L at the piano in 1991. In 1995, he graduated from The University of Melbourne as a physiotherapist and subsequently embarked on several years of clinical work in Australia and overseas.

Since 2001 he has been involved in academic teaching at The University of Melbourne School of Physiotherapy, where he currently holds a position as lecturer and coordinator of research methods teaching. In 2006 he completed his PhD investigating Playing Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PRMDs) in elite (tertiary and professional) pianists. This was one of the first PhDs conducted in Australia in the emerging field of performing arts medicine, and results from this research have been published in a variety of local and international peer-reviewed journals.

He has an ongoing interest in the prevention and management of musicians’ injuries. In 2007 he became the inaugural Vice President of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare (ASPAH), a newly formed Australian network of health professionals, educators and performers designed to foster occupational health initiatives for performing artists. Peter remains actively involved in piano playing and teaching.

Outline of proposed presentation

Playing Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Elite Pianists: Physical Symptoms Experienced by Pianists and Injury Prevention Strategies

Dr. Peter Bragge, Dr. Andrea Bialocerkowski, Professor Joan McMeeken

Elite (tertiary and professional) pianists are prone to Playing Related Musculoskeletal Disorders due to the amount and intensity of piano playing required at these levels. These disorders are characterised by pain, weakness, or other symptoms that interfere with piano playing. This presentation will outline recent research findings regarding these physical symptoms and the factors that place a pianist at increased risk of developing such disorders. Based upon this information, educational and other injury prevention strategies will be presented. These strategies are relevant to all levels of piano pedagogy.