Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Brian Lynch

Second Committee Member

Timothy Conner

Third Committee Member

John Daversa

Fourth Committee Member

Brian E. Russell


Three out of four musicians may experience musculoskeletal pain that interferes with their ability to perform optimally. Within that group, the modern trumpet player must uniquely contend with high compressive forces on the muscles of the torso, which temporarily raise ocular and blood pressures. Also, the compressive forces temporarily affect heart function, and require the trumpet player to counteract negative external forces on the head and neck where the trumpet connects with the embouchure. When the rigors of performing music are combined with poor technique, poor posture, and general misuse of body mechanics, the chronic pain and injury to the body may be the result. Body misalignment can reduce the space that is needed for the joints to work smoothly, and may result in pain and inflammation in the body. When good posture is regained and postural behaviors are improved, the musculoskeletal system can operate freely, and pain may be reduced or eliminated. Somatic methods of alignment and movement behavior may provide a variety of nonsurgical solutions. This essay attempts to match documented complaints with sources that identify a set of postural corrective movements, which the author has personally applied, to address and correct pain and postural misuse. The twenty-one step alignment routine may benefit all musicians, and allow music educators to address performance efficiency problems not associated with improper technique.


Trumpet; Alignment; Posture; Pain; Alexander Technique; Egoscue