In February of this year, the first group of participants in the mdw’s Music Physiology postgraduate programme successfully earned their certificates. Having spent two semesters and a total of 144 hours studying and honing their skills, they now set out to put the content they’ve learned into practice. This postgraduate course is aimed at active musicians and teachers at the music school and university levels who wish to enhance their knowledge of music physiology and music psychology. A major goal of this course is to learn how to better deal with the physical and psychological challenges of music-making and how to convey possible solutions to these challenges to students.

©Alexandra Türk-Espitalier

This programme’s content is taught in practical and theoretical lectures in which functional anatomy, kinematics, and music medicine come together to form a foundation of knowledge. In practical bodywork lectures, participants learn exercises suitable for musicians taken from strength training, Feldenkrais, Eutony, and the repertoire of breathing techniques. Bodywork in combination with instruments is likewise taught: being a central part of the programme, these lectures cover the specific demands of every instrument with musicians available as models so that programme participants can observe and study with a live person at hand.

Topics relating to music psychology are covered by lectures in mental training, motivation and self-esteem, coping strategies, and practicing techniques. Here as well, the programme’s curriculum places great emphasis on practical work, immediate applicability of the exercises, and the aspect of prevention.

The programme is based at the Music Physiology division of the Department of Music and Movement Education/Rhythmics and Music Physiology and was designed by that division’s instructors. Alexandra Türk-Espitalier heads the programme, with Bernhard Riebl serving as deputy head and Hedi Milek responsible for recruiting instructors. This programme, as the first of its kind in Austria, attracted such interest that the number of applications for its first annual cycle was double the number of available places!

This postgraduate programme runs two semesters and starts every summer semester. The present cycle began this March. The next opportunity to begin will be in March 2019, with the registration deadline in January 2019. Further information on dates and costs as well as registration can be found at

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