Musician, Entrepreneur, Injury Prevention Coach
Your Musician Health and Wellness Coach For The 21st Century
Helping classical musicians holistically
perform without pain
As Featured In
Want to perform without pain and reach your full potential?
Most musicians know where they want to go, but they don't know the right steps...
Performing without pain and keeping it away is like climbing a mountain. The idea is simple, but the climb can seem impossible if you got at it alone.
You just need 3 things...
1. An effective roadmap (a plan and system of action)
2. Determination and drive (thats you!)
3. A sherpa, someone to lead and guide you up the mountain (Thats me!)
It's time to end the confusion, overwhelm, and finally get the lasting results you deserve. Click the button and we can help you get clarity on the plan of action and next steps to take.
Musician, Entrepreneur, Injury Prevention Coach
Austin is the premier expert in the music health and wellness industry in helping musicians holistically perform without pain through scientific and evidence-based concepts.
• Pursuing Doctor of Music at Indiana University
• Certified Personal Trainer
• Corrective Exercise Specialist
• Precision Nutrition Level 1
• Founder of The Functional Musician
• National Speaker and Presenter
Hear From Our Clients
"I found that the functional musician was targeted to balance my hours of practice, and over the weeks, most of the pain that was associated with playing my instrument improved significantly."
"I would highly recommend The Functional Musician to everyone serious about their physical health and musical performance."
"During week 5, while doing some heavy yard work, my back tightened and almost spasmed. Thanks to Austin's programming, I was able to stop, listen to my body, and adjust to the situation using some mobility routines he taught me. I would have been bent over for a week If I didn't have these concepts and tools!"
-Graham, Bass Trombone
"Within two weeks of starting the Functional Musician Program, I noticed significant improvements in my posture, strength, and endurance! I felt the results almost instantly!"
Ready to be our next success story?
If tension, pain, or a previous injury
is preventing you from performing your best
...you're not alone.
The steps to a classical performance career seemed so simple.
1. Learn to play an instrument
2. Follow your passion and do what you love
3. Practice, push yourself, practice some more, win a job, and be able to continue playing for the rest of your life!
At least that's how most college universities make it out to be
But somehow this process and music pursuit hasn't been all that I thought it would be.
I'm supposed to be performing and playing to my heart's content… but it's hard to enjoy playing music when I associate my instrument with pain.
I'm not afraid to work hard. I know I can put in focused, meaningful, and efficient practice sessions.
But, I've been doing everything I've been told to do, but it's just not working - the pain keeps coming back.
Along my journey, I see a lot of other musicians doing the same things and experiencing similar tension and pain, and none of them are getting to their goals either. Does this approach of "putting in the work above everything else" actually work for everyone?
I know I'm good! I know I have a special, meaningful musical voice in my heart, but every time I start to make progress, I feel like I have to take a step back because of my body.
…I don't want to risk my performance career by playing through the pain.
Performing is my passion!
It's just so hard to find a solution that actually works.
I see all of my peers, colleagues, and friends improving quickly and I feel like I am constantly stuck in the mud.
I just keep thinking...
What if my situation is permanent?
What if I'm not cut out to be a classical musician?
What if I have to give up music for another career, just to make ends meet?
What if all of this time, energy, and financial investments are for nothing?
Honestly, I feel like a failure...
I keep putting in the work, I keep showing up to do the thing, but honestly, this tension and pain has been going on for years and I don't know how much longer I can keep this up....
I get it, I've been there, I struggled for THREE years.
In 2016, I injured myself right after I started pursuing a graduate degree at Indiana University.
I just switched to bass trombone and was playing in orchestra, jazz band, a chamber ensemble, consistently doing a daily routine of fundamentals and etudes, AND pursuing major auditions. Not only that, I wasn't exercising regularly, I was eating poorly (and regularly skipping meals), and I was sacrificing sleep to get in as much practice time as I could.
As you can imagine, 8-10 hours of playing quickly caught up with me. Within a month of living this lifestyle, my left forearm blew out and I could no longer hold up anything weighing more than a pound without searing pain.
6-8 months of rehabilitation later, I slowly ramped up my practice time, but quickly injured myself AGAIN. This time, injuring my left and right shoulders. After seeing regular chiropractors, massage therapists, doctor visits, and other medical specialists I was finally able to get to a point where I could hold up my instrument without pain....but it didn't end there.
Fast forward 12 months, these previous injuries developed into another level of complexity. One week before my first doctoral recital, I developed two golf ball sized knots underneath my scapula and I could no longer take a full, efficient breath without feeling a stabbing pain in my chest. As you can imagine, as a bass trombonist, air is one of the most important tools we have. Also, as you can imagine, my recital was a disaster (even though ironically, I was the most prepared I have ever been, leading up to that point).
At that point, after years of failing and being stuck, I've had enough..
I started researching musician performance related injuries and the numbers were STAGGERING.
Hundreds of scientific studies have been posted and all share a similar story.
Performance related injuries are present and extremely common in ALL ages.
But there has to be an answer? There has to be a LONG TERM SOLUTION, not a temporary fix.
My findings? Not one single long term solution.
This is where I started to make a change
I started pursuing health and wellness certifications that would give me a knowledge base to start applying to my life. 3 certifications later, hundreds of hours of research, and a year of applying concepts to myself...
I started to see HUGE shifts
...My posture improved throughout the entire day
...I could hold my instrument up for longer periods of time (endurance)
...I started making improvements on my instrument that have been barriers for YEARS
...My tension and pain that was normally a 8/10, start to decrease drastically
...and I started to associate my instrument with passion, joy, and excitement!
I finally felt like I was in control of my life. I finally felt like my performance career was a reachable reality.
Fast forward a year, to my second doctoral recital, and I was able to perform an entire hour without feeling tension or pain! I thought to myself.. I think I am on to something!
A year later I was able to perform a second successful recital without tension or pain.
Fast forward to today, and I have officially been injury free for 2.5 years!
At this point, I knew my injury was FINALLY behind me
But here is what I learned...
1. Preventing injury and getting over an injury are TWO different things.
2. Injury cycles are VERY HARD to get out of - if I'm being honest, I almost quit more times than I could count.
3. If you are injured, getting over your injury IS worth ALL of the struggle.
But if I had learned 1 important thing...
I was doing everything my teachers told me, I was listening to my doctors, practitioners, and specialists, but none of it mattered, because my foundation was weak. I didn't have healthy habits formed. My mind and body was crumbling.
This is why 75%-93% of performing musicians will develop a performance related injury at some point in their life.
I refuse to let that be the story moving forward...
Which is why we built our Functional Musician Foundation Program - the full system you need to build your foundation, create sustainable habits, and most importantly, put your tension, pain, or injury behind you for good so you can focus on your performing career!
It's the same process that helped me overcome my injury and have helped musicians of all instrument families prevent, manage, and overcome their injuries.
I'm sick of seeing musicians not getting answers and going through this mentally and physically debilitating cycle without seeing results.
The Functional Musician Foundation Program is not the "silver bullet" tactic of the month that only works for 2% of people. It isn't some band-aid solution that only covers part of whats needed and no, you don't have to dedicate hours and hours a day to make it work.
It's the full system to help musicians:
***Build a healthy, sustainable foundation (...even if they have no fitness experience)
***Improve their pain, posture, and performance (...even if they've experienced pain for years)
***Build confidence, stability, and control in their playing (...without touching your instrument)
.... all while continuing to practice and perform on your instrument!
The principles and concepts aren't new. They have been honed and refined by elite trainers, athletes, and Olympians for decades, but...
The way we implement them is specifically designed to support musicians daily performance life.
This system works...but it doesn't work for everyone. You must:
1. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone
2. Be an action taker
3. Ready to make a change and get past your injury, for good!
IF this sounds like you, then the Functional Musician Foundation Program might be a great fit.
And if you want to see if you'd be a great fit, I want to offer you a free clarity call, with me personally.
On the call we will dig into where you are at, what is going, what you have tried (or haven't), what is working and what is not, and get clarity around what you would need to focus on to get over your obstacle, whether that is tension, pain, or injury.
You can start by booking a time for your clarity call below:
These times book up fast so make sure you grab one if something is available.
After you book your time, you'll be taken to a survey page where we will ask you a few questions about your situation, so we can be prepared for our call.
Lastly, we will give you a little homework before the call to make sure you are prepped and ready to get the most of our session .
This might be the best 45 minutes you'll ever spend in your health and wellness, so don't wait to grab your spot now.
Because if you don't change... nothing changes.
This pillar is inspired by concepts from strength training, yoga, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkrais. The idea is that every exercise chosen will improve your posture, your ability to perform activities of daily living, and most importantly, your musical performance!
Within the musician lifestyle, physical demands are placed upon the body constantly, causing tension, pain, postural imbalances, and chronic injury. Having a high level of body awareness is key to achieving performance longevity. By striving for structural balance, you will be able to keep your body as healthy and functional as possible.
As humans, foundational health and wellness habits directly influence quality of life.
This program will help you develop habits that will:
Support rest and recovery
Prevent chronic illness and disease
Generate focused physical and mental energy
Support our mental well-being
Being a musician presents significant mental demands over the long term. In The Functional Musician, mindfulness practices are incorporated throughout, to build a healthy, resilient, and strong mindset. This teaches you to approach doubt, fear, and other negative emotions by seeing them as an opportunity to learn and grow.