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 Post subject: Trinity Laban Receives Leverhulme Trust Award
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Trinity Laban Receives Leverhulme Trust Award for the First Music and Dance
Collaborative Screening and Profiling Project

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance has received a £54,109 grant from the
Leverhulme Trust for a groundbreaking study entitled Music & Dance Science:
Optimizing Performance Potential via an interdisciplinary music and dance screening
and profiling programme.

Research has found that injuries among performing artists are more frequent compared
to other professions that use the human body, such as sport. A recent survey of
dancers in the UK found that 80% of the dance population incurred an injury
inhibiting performance within a 12 month time-span. Musicians' playing-related
injury rates can be as high as 70% of a population. However, there have been
comparatively few longitudinal studies investigating the causes of performance
related injuries in dance, and fewer still in music.

The project aims to find ways of optimizing music and dance performance through an
advanced screening and profiling programme, assessing biomechanical, physiological,
and psychological aspects of approximately 180 vocational music and dance students
during their training at Trinity Laban over a two year period. The results will be
used to assess the effects of particular training regimes, to develop better
education and training techniques, and to thereby contribute to the health of
professional dancers and musicians.

Learning and teaching methods in dance and music have typically evolved from
tradition and personal experience rather than scientific principles, and within
music training, health provision is more treatment-focused than preventative. Laban
was one of the first dance training institutions to pilot comprehensive screening
within its undergraduate programme and is now perceived as a leader in this field.
The recently merged Trinity Laban, which incorporates Laban and Trinity College of
Music, is in the ideal position to further develop the dance science model and adapt
it for the benefit of musicians also.

Principal Investigator Emma Redding says: "This research is truly ground-breaking.
It is the first time vocational music and dance training will be studied in this way
from a scientific perspective within a longitudinal study. It's the first
interdisciplinary project to investigate the physiological, biomechanical, and
psychological aspects of training and performance - their interrelationships and
potential links to improvements in vocational training and optimisation of
performance of the 'whole' musician and 'whole' dancer. It's also the first time an
organization has been in the position to collaborate with music and dance with a
vocational student population of exceptional calibre, thus enabling
interdisciplinary investigation of music and dance talent development at the elite

Derek Aviss, Joint Principal of Trinity Laban and Principal of Trinity College of
Music comments: "Even less attention has been given to the causes of performance
related injuries in music than in dance. This may in part be because musicians'
injuries can be very specific, seem small-scale to the non-musician and are
sometimes open to mis-diagnosis and vary considerably with instrument. Research
also suggests that both professional and student musicians are reluctant to disclose
injury in case it is perceived as a sign of weakness. Added to this, such is the
competitive nature of the music and dance profession that musicians and dancers will
often try to conceal injury, or continue playing or dancing in spite of it, thereby
exacerbating the situation. Thanks to the generosity of The Leverhulme Trust we are
in the position to help address these issues and contribute to the development of
health-aware training which will benefit dancers and musicians both physically and

Anthony Bowne, Joint Principal of Trinity Laban and Director of Laban says: "The
time has come to surmount traditional academic boundaries in music and dance
training. Trinity Laban's mission is to promote internationally the highest quality
of professionalism through the provision of specialist education reflecting the
increasingly collaborative world of artistic practice, dedicated to the career
development of students and professional performing artists. This project will
contribute to the development of effective music and dance training in the UK and
consequently a physically and psychologically healthier work force of professional
musicians and dancers."

The Leverhulme Trust has also granted £48,000 over three years to provide student
bursaries to young people with exceptional talent and potential in dance to study on
Laban's Centre of Advanced Training (CAT) scheme. The innovative scheme, which
offers young people the opportunity to access high quality dance training, is part
of a national programme funded and developed by the Department for Children, Schools
and Families' Music and Dance Scheme.


Editors Notes

For more information, images or to speak to Emma Redding, Derek Aviss or Anthony
Bowne, please contact Miranda Harris, Public Relations and Communications Manager,
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 020 8469 9549, <>

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

In 2005 Trinity College of Music and Laban, leading centres of music and
contemporary dance, came together to form Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and
Dance. Trinity Laban was ranked first in both music and dance in the Guardian
Higher Education/University League Tables 2008. For more information please see <>


Laban is an internationally renowned conservatoire for professional contemporary
dance training, at the forefront of developing undergraduate and postgraduate
programmes, as well as a range of continuing professional development opportunities.
Laban has a strong programme of work in the community, across London and nationwide
in partnership with dance organisations, agencies and professional dance companies.
Based in an awe-inspiring landmark building in Deptford Creekside, SE8,
state-of-the-art facilities include 13 dance studios, a health suite, café and
300-seat purpose built theatre. For more information please see

Trinity College of Music

Located in the beautiful Wren designed King Charles Court at the Old Royal Naval
College in Greenwich, Trinity College of Music is one of the UK's leading centres
for the training of professional musicians. It is a creative and cosmopolitan
community of performers, composers, teachers and researchers. The College runs a
vibrant programme of performances and festivals as well as groundbreaking education,
community and social-inclusion schemes. For more information please see <>

Dance and Music Science

Dance Science is a developing area of research and study and Music Science is a
relatively new field with its recent focus primarily being on performance psychology
rather than biomechanics and physiology. By recognising dancers and musicians as
athletes as well as artists and investigating the physiological, biomechanical and
psychological characteristics underlying training and performance, the aim of dance
and music science is to enhance pedagogic practices and optimise the potential of
every elite performer.

The Leverhulme Trust

The Leverhulme Trust is one of the largest all subjects providers of research
funding in the UK, distributing funds of some £40 million every year. For further
information about all of the schemes that the Leverhulme Trust fund please visit
their website at

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