Graduate Research Colloquium: Dr Anna Detari (Royal College of Music)

Musician's Focal Dystonia from a holistic perspective: a new look at the unresolved disorder

Free to attend, no registration required.

The lecture will provide a general overview of Musician’s Focal Dystonia, a task-specific neurological movement disorder affecting 1-2% of highly skilled musicians. We will examine the condition from various perspectives, including the history of the research and treatment and the shortcomings of the currently used models and therapeutic approaches.

In the second half of the session, I will introduce my newly constructed holistic model of the disorder: we will talk about psychological, psychosocial, and behavioural factors which might contribute to the onset of the condition and their implications for rehabilitation. At the end of the session, we will discuss how music educators can be the most important allies in developing both preventative and treatment strategies.

Anna Détári is a Lecturer in Performance Science within the Centre for Performance Science at the Royal College of Music. Anna’s main research interest is performing artists’ health and well-being. Informed by her work as both a performer and a researcher, her goal is to translate the latest scientific findings into effective practices to positively impact musicians’ lives in a meaningful way.

Anna holds her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in flute performance which she completed at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and the University of Pécs in Hungary. Her interest in musicians’ health inspired her to complete a Master of Science degree in performance science at the Royal College of Music, followed by a doctoral degree at the University of York. Anna’s PhD research examined Musician’s Focal Dystonia - a task-specific neurological movement disorder - from a holistic perspective, considering psychological, psychosocial, and behavioural risk factors, to enhance existing treatments and establish preventative strategies.

As a member of the CPS, she continues her research into performers’ physical and mental health, focusing on motor movement acquisition, body mechanics, the psychosocial work environment of musicians, mental health, neurodiversity, and their implications for music performance and education.

About the series:

The Colloquia feature leading figures, as well as younger scholars, from across the world. They present their research in papers on all kinds of music-related topics. Graduate students Stephanie Shon and Francis Bertschinger organise the series. Presentations are followed by discussion and a drinks reception. Students, staff and the general public are warmly encouraged to attend, in person or online. Free and open to all.