Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Singers & Musicians: Get Fit, Not Hurt! (Angela McCuiston Interview)


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Getting physically injured can temporarily stop or permanently end a music career. My guest Angela McCuiston, founder of 'Music Strong', has developed a specialty career in fitness training and rehabilitation exercises for music makers of all kinds. Listen to this interview to hear Angela and I discuss some vital fitness strategies that can improve muscle balance, endurance and strength. A musician herself, Angela understands the stresses of our vocations and the stakes involved! - LINKS - Find Angela at: Find me at:

Topics we discussed:

  • Angela's own playing-related injury episodes that eventually led through frustration to creating 'Music Strong', where she helps musicians get fit for more strength and endurance, and get targeted remedial exercises for muscle imbalances and injuries.
  • My vocal cord injury leading to my work with injured voices.
  • Angela's integration of multiple protocols of healing, including Alexander Technique, Barbara Conable's body mapping, Eva Amsler's dynamic integration
  • Some key physical issues of guitarists and pianists that she works with.
  • The importance of muscle balance - including the muscles working the singer's chest and head registers.
  • What older music makers should look for in a personal trainer.
  • Angela tells us about the programs she offers through 'Music Strong', such as her personal workout sessions, instrument-specific fitness training, her 'Covid Comeback' program, and her proposed 'Music Strong Wellness Center.
  • The highly effective free exercises Angela offers on her Youtube channel
  • And more!

More About Angela:

Angela McCuiston is a NASM-CPT, CES, SFS and CETI-CES (Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist and Cancer Exercise Specialist). She is the owner of Music Strong, a business that specializes in personal fitness training for musicians.

Her studies include Alexander Technique, Barbara Conable's Body Mapping, and Eva Amsler's Dynamic Integration as well as Neurokinetic Therapy.  

Winner of the 2007 NFA Piccolo Master class, Angela received her Master of Music in Flute Performance from Florida State University and her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Tennessee Technological University. Angela is Assistant Principal/Piccolo of Sinfonia Gulf Coast of Destin, Nashville Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony and Nashville Flute Choir. Joining the military soon after 9/11 she recently recently transferred to the 313th Army Band in Huntsville, AL, after
completing a 16-year tenure in the 129th Army Band in Nashville, TN. In addition to her solo performances, she has performed with such celebrities as Kristen Chenowith, Pink Martini, Jamie Bernstein, Morgan James, Chris Mann, Nancy Griffith and Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

Recently she was sought out by the Old Guard, Army Fife and Drum Corps as a special consultant to prevent playing related injuries. She has been sought out for numerous other positions including becoming a provider for MusiCares (A musician’s wellness division of The Recording Academy: the Grammy’s) and completing her 4-year appointment as Chair of the National Flute Association Performance Health Committee.  In August 2020, Angela also joined the faculty at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN as professor of flute.

In February 2019 she published her first book: The Musician’s Essential Exercises, and recorded over 20 instrument specific workouts available for download. She also offers a comprehensive workout program she calls 'The Covid Comeback' for musicians coming off a long hiatus from playing.

Most recently, she has transitioned her focus into building a musician’s wellness center in Nashville, TN. The center seeks to be the first of its kind, bridging the gap between traditional and holistic medicine, offering comprehensive and concierge wellness care for musicians.

What About YOU?

What experience do you have with playing- or singing- related injuries? What helped you? What mysteries remain?

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