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New book offers career and health advice to musicians

By | Published on Friday 26 February 2021

Sound Advice book

Music industry journalist Rhian Jones and musician Lucy Heyman have today published a new book titled ‘Sound Advice’, offering career and health guidance for musicians and those who work with them.

With practical advice on performance skills, money management, cultivating creativity, social media, dealing with criticism, fame and fans, the book also covers substance use and addiction, eating disorders and body image, musculoskeletal issues and touring, vocal and hearing health, and more.

As well as research from the authors, it features firsthand interviews with artists, including Laura Mvula, Will Young, Imogen Heap, MNEK, Nina Nesbitt, Ella Eyre, Jonathan Higgs and Lady Leshurr, among others.

“I had the idea for this book after closely following the ongoing music and health conversation”, says Jones. “It made total sense to me for a business that is predicated on developing and nurturing the talent of creatives to prioritise the health and wellbeing of those creatives”.

“If an artist gets physically or mentally sick and can’t work, the people and businesses around them lose money, so it surprised me to find out that there didn’t seem to be many – if any – sanctions in place that were there for the sole purpose of fostering an artist’s good health”, she adds. “And it’s been heartbreaking to witness the many premature deaths of much-loved music talents over recent years”.

Heyman – a PhD researcher, as well as a musician – adds: “Research suggests that musicians may face a large number of mental and physical health issues in their careers but the majority of these problems are preventable with the right information and support. I wanted to create an easily accessible book that was informed by scientific research and included the lived experiences of musicians along with the advice and guidance of leading experts and signposts to further support”.

“Studies have shown that, as well as health, musicians want support with the performance side of their career”, she goes on. “So we worked with leading psychologists to provide a section which focuses on topics including managing performance anxiety, increasing confidence onstage, overcoming creative blocks, improving practice and more”.

“This section may be particularly useful to musicians who’ve been unable to perform due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who might need extra support when they return to live performances”, she continues. “We hope that this book will become an essential manual for any musician to give them the correct advice, signposting, and treatment of issues as soon as possible should they need it”.

Buy the book in hardback, paperback and ebook formats here.