Musicians with PD

Are there any professional musicians out there with PD?

I'll be conducting interviews over the coming months for an article and presentation with musicians (instrumentalists and singers) who have "non-playing-related musculoskeletal disorders", that means an illness (for example: MS, Parkinson's, auto-immune or ataxic disorder, stroke, etc.) that affects their ability control their movements, hence their ability to continue playing (or singing). I'd be grateful for leads.

11 Replies

  • My son is a musician. In fact, he is performing tonight; I'll ask him to put out the word. My guess is, some won't want to get their names out there for fear that it could cost them gigs (which frankly I doubt). Any chance you might let them speak anonymously?

  • Yes, of course. Anonymity is very important. It's my hope that these kinds of diseases won't threaten musicians' livelihoods, but we're not there yet.

  • I'm a gigging musician recently dx with PD.

    Let me know more via a pm


  • My husband was a professional musician and had to give up playing due to an inability to control his movements. It was 3 years after that he had the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. It wasn't easy to diagnose because he was in his 30's and our local GP was baffled. He would be happy to help.

  • My son was a professional career bass player (self supporting for a decade).......BIG concert gigs. Double Vision interfered with reading his music charts. Fatigue didn't allow him to stand for long periods of time, playing the hours of a normal gig. He now plays freebies. I will ask him if he is interested in participating in your study. Would his symptoms qualify?

  • Yes. I am such. Neal

  • Is that international interviews? You don't say where you are from!

  • I'm a musician with PD and in my opinion the main reason I'm progressing slower than others

  • Thanks to everyone for your replies. The survey and interviews are international (though I'm based in the US). I'll be developing the survey over the course of the next two weeks and will invite you via message or email to participate. In the meantime, I've started a web group. In my experience, it's helpful to have an opportunity for exchange with other musicians, even if the neurological disease is quite different (ex. MS vs. Parkinson's). If you agree, please join me there:

  • I am a Trumpet player in a Big band in Northern Iowa. Diagnosed 11 years ago with DBS 4 years ago. My sight reading ability has been the most affected and even w/the DBS it is a carefully timed drug enhancement before practice and gigs that I find most helpful. Thank God (or ...) that it hasn't affected my facial muscles to the extend of messing up my playing.

    It is getting harder (i will never admit it to the group) to play a three set gig. Trumpets stand in the back. I have a tall stool to rest on that helps. I will never give up.

    Playing music is as much therapy as Yoga/Pilates and exercise in keeping me sane and moving!

  • Hello musicians. The survey is now online: I'd be very grateful for your participation.

    Thanks so much.

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