June 22


10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Event Category:

BAPAM, Healthy Practice

Click to Register:

The Royal Society of Musicians

Improving your breathing, posture and embouchure can all improve your performance and longevity, while reducing the risk of injury.

The Royal Society of Musicians and BAPAM are working together to present a series of health education workshops for musicians. This exciting series of workshops brings together bring specialist practitioners who are experts in the field of performing arts medicine and offers an opportunity for musicians to understand more about the range of health problems they might experience, how to prevent them and how to get help if it is needed.

Improving your breathing, posture and embouchure can all improve your performance and longevity, while reducing the risk of injury. Join Dr Alan Watson and Dr Sarah Upjohn as they discuss the anatomical keys for musicians to get the best out of their playing.

Dr Alan Watson

Alan Watson is a Reader in Anatomy and Neuroscience at the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, and has a lifelong interest in music. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he runs a course on the musical performance physiology. Over many years he has worked there with trombonist Kevin Price (Head of Musical Performance at the College) and students on projects concerned mainly with breathing, posture and embouchure in brass players and singers which has resulted in a number of papers co-authored with Kevin. The work has received funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Alan was involved in setting up the curriculum of the M.Sc. Degree in Performing Arts Medicine at University College London which has been running since 2011 and still contributes to the course. He has lectured on the musicians’ health and performance physiology at the Royal College of Music, BAPAM, the DANA centre, Wellcome Collection, British Voice Association and at public events such as the Wrexham Science Festival, the Cheltenham Music Festival and the Menuhin Violin Competition. Alan’s book on “The Biology of Musical Performance and Performance-related Injury” was published by Scarecrow press in 2009 and he is co-author of “The Singer’s Guide to the Larynx” with Nicola Harrison (Compton Press, 2019). He has also contributed chapters on “Breathing in Singing” to the Oxford Handbook on Singing (Welch, G. Nix, J. Howard, D.(eds) OUP), “Prevention” to The Musician’s Hand (Winspur, I, 2nd edn. – JP Medical 2018) and several entries on brass performance physiology to the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Brass (Herbert, T., Wallace, J., Myers, A. eds. CUP).

Dr Sarah Upjohn – MA MCSP – Specialist Physiotherapist at BAPAM and the Purcell School for Young Musicians

Sarah qualified as a physiotherapist from the Bristol School of Physiotherapy in 1983 and has gained extensive clinical and educational experience. She has worked with musicians, actors, dancers and other arts professionals at BAPAM, the Purcell School and in her own practice since 2008. In 2019 she completed an education doctorate at Cambridge University where her thesis was about increasing awareness of risk factors for playing-related injuries in elite young musicians. She is a keen double bass player and singer.

In 2008 she began working part time at The Purcell School for Young Musicians, treating playing related injuries. In 2011 she joined the first cohort of Doctorate of Education students at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research involves developing an injury prevention, health promotion and performance wellness programme within the school.

She has been a BAPAM physiotherapy practitioner since 2008, and has extensive experience, and a particular interest in, treating instrumental musicians.

The Royal Society of Musicians

RSM provides vital support to those whose lives have been affected by accident, illness, stress and anxiety. We work with UK-based musicians and their families throughout their careers and into retirement, giving help towards short-term needs as well providing support on a more long-term basis when required. RSM can help towards funding physical and emotional therapies, referrals to specialised practitioners and associated treatments, and potentially the provision of home adaptations or living expenses.

For more information, please visit or to contact us at / 020 7629 6137.


Established 30 years ago, BAPAM is the largest provider of Performing Arts Medicine in the UK with coverage across the four nations and a growing Directory of over 200 approved clinicians, registered with BAPAM. We provide free clinical assessments for performers with health problems affecting their performing arts practice. In 2019, we provided occupational health support to over 2500 enquiries from performing artists, including 1200 clinical assessment appointments. Our support is focused on specialist clinical assessment to determine the correct diagnosis and best care pathway for a performer, providing clinical advice and referring onwards to experts in the field where necessary. In some cases we also able to provide ongoing mental health support. Regulated by the Care Quality Commission, we operate under robust clinical governance and quality assurance frameworks with leadership from our Board and Medical Committee. Performers generally access care via our Helpline, and our (non-clinical) Helpline operators advise on care options and arrange appointments according to approved protocols. We also run a health education programme with free sessions available online and bespoke sessions which can be booked for individual organisations. You can contacts us; and 0207 404 8444.