The Musicians’ Health Collective

By Kayleigh Miller

My name is Kayleigh Miller, and I’m a movement teacher, body nerd, orchestral violist, lover of contemporary music, and the founder of the Musicians’ Health Collective, a blog addressing topics in musicians’ wellness. I first became interested in movement practices and health when I began practicing yoga 9 years ago, while also experiencing a series of different injuries (bruised coccyx, torn meniscus, and tendonitis for starters), mostly unrelated to my musical career.

I began experimenting with different holistic and traditional treatments, mind-body practices, and self-care regiments, finding success and new insights with each endeavor. I had the opportunity to play in the New World Symphony after my graduate degree, and I made a commitment to take care of my body, especially given the rigorous rehearsal and concert schedule. I saw colleagues there with perpetual injuries, pain, and discomfort, and although I was not a clinician, I tried to be helpful with setup, movement choices, and overuse patterns.

In 2011, I decided to pursue my 200 hour yoga teacher training through the South Boston Yoga Studio, and I began to craft musician-friendly classes, focusing on the misalignments, overuse patterns, and injuries that I saw in my friends and fellow musicians. From there, I have worked with clients with different imbalances and needs, both rehabilitative and athletic populations, and I have also been more interested in anatomy and the structure of the human body, often spurred by my own health challenges and successes.

In January of 2014, after winning a contract with the San Antonio Symphony, I decided to begin a blog that reflected the things I was learning in my studies, and answer some of the questions I was receiving from students and fellow musicians. In two and a half years since, I have become an Integrated Yoga Tune Up® teacher, as well as begun a certification in Nutritious Movement® with biomechanist Katy Bowman, and studied Body Mapping with violinist Jennifer Johnson. I’ve also recently begun my comprehensive pilates teacher certification training, and I’m the anatomy instructor for the Esther Vexler Yoga School in San Antonio, TX.

The unifying thread throughout all of my work is that I want to help musicians become more embodied and use their bodies more efficiently and effectively, throughout their musical careers and daily lives. The blog features a range of subjects, from anatomy posts, explanations of common medical diagnoses, and interviews with clinicians, musicians, and movement educators. It has been more successful than I ever thought it would, with posts that have attracted international readership, and many non-musician readers. My hope, as always, is to continue to learn more about the body, to share what I learn, connect with others who support musicians’ wellness, and provide a resource for musicians working with pain, injury, and rehabilitation. I am honored by all of those who have contributed to and supported my efforts, and look forward to many more years of embodied music making and growth.

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