Welcome to the Musicians’ Wellness Program (MWP) at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music! Learn how to apply powerful somatic methodologies that improve physical functioning and overall wellness, from performance psychology and effective exercise to breathing, hearing, vocal health and more.
The MWP strives to increase proficiency, prevent injury and help students reach their goals through somatic training, psychotherapy, health-related information and a medical support network. As such, the MWP provides essential assistance to injured students with the goals of returning them to full functioning and preventing further injury, and guiding them to resources including local medical professionals trained in the special needs of musicians.
The MWP also partners with CU Boulder Counseling Services: The College of Music’s embedded therapist has wide-ranging experience in many aspects of emotional health that frequently affect musicians, including performance anxiety. Individual and group sessions further address mental health and psychiatric services for a variety of students’ needs.
Wellness for musicians classes with James Brody
In these classes, we explore strategies that help musicians maintain optimal health while achieving peak performance. You will learn to employ powerful somatic methodologies—including Alexander Technique and Body Mapping—that improve physical functioning and prevent injury. A variety of wellness aspects are also included, such as performance psychology, mental health, effective exercise, nutrition, breathing, hearing and vocal health.
Alexander Technique lessons + consultations with James Brody
James Brody offers one-on-one consultations and lessons with students who are experiencing difficulty in music making due to misuse, injury, anxiety or physical tension. Email James Brody or ask your teacher to set up a consultation at which your teacher may be present, if you wish.
Annual Summer Alexander Technique Program
Every July, the MWP hosts a week-long Alexander Technique course.This experience includes significant aspects of the Alexander Technique, Body Mapping, movement, mindfulness and psychology—all in the service of inclusive well-being. MORE
Mental health services
Counseling + Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers confidential, on-campus mental health and psychiatric services for a variety of students’ needs. Students who have paid the mental health fee are eligible to work with CAPS providers, including 24/7 phone support.
Matthew Tomatz is the College of Music’s embedded therapist from CAPS. He has wide-ranging experience in many aspects of emotional health that frequently affect musicians, including performance anxiety and emotional blocks to success. For individual counseling, contact Matt at Matthew.Tomatz@colorado.edu or through the CAPS main office, 303-492-6766.
Meetings with Matt provides opportunities for informal and confidential consultation in our wellness space (S303). This service is free and open to students, faculty and staff. Topics of conversation could be related to performance, time management, procrastination, how life and performance intersect, getting through the year, making choices, learning about therapy ... or just to talk: Thursdays, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in S303.
Developing the Whole Musician with Matt Tomatz is a unique learning environment and powerful group process. Participation helps students make important personal discoveries while supporting growth as a musician. Questions? Contact Matt, Matthew.Tomatz@colorado.edu.
Medical evaluations at Wardenburg Health Center (WHC)
Tracy Casault, John Breck and Julie Jacobson-Weaver provide initial evaluations as well as referrals for diagnostic tests, physical therapy and appointments with specialists as needed. If you do not have medical insurance through CU Boulder, check with the Wardenburg administrative office or on their website to learn whether your medical insurance covers care at WHC. Wardenburg appointments: 303-492-5432.
Physical therapy at WHC
Wardenburg PT has a unique patient-centered approach in which the specific needs of each student guides the care provided. Ann Sirotniak is the MWP partner in this area. Any CU Boulder student can access PT services at Wardenburg. If you have the CU Gold Plan, you do not need a physician referral. Third party insurance plans may need a referral; check with your provider. MORE
PT is also available at the Sports Medicine and Performance Center in the Champions Center/Stadium.
Take care of your hearing! Students can get a basic hearing test at no cost. Hearing protection specifically designed for musicians is available at below-market cost.
Guest speaker series
Topics include performance management skills, temporo-mandibular joint disorder, physical therapy for performers and the anatomy of breathing. See the Wellness Board or check our Facebook page for the schedule.