R is for Rest and Recovery Last updated: 08 February 2023 Musicians face significant physical and mental demands, and time for rest and recovery should always be part of the schedule. Sleep is vital to general health. With the irregular hours of musicians, it is not always easy to keep to a regular routine. You should encourage your student to establish a regular sleeping pattern where they can. The NHS has advice on good sleep hygiene. When we sleep, our bodies are busy carrying out small repairs to the everyday “micro-injuries” we sustain from normal life living. In order to complete these repair jobs, we need sufficient, good quality sleep. The body can cope with some disrupted sleep, but if we are chronically sleep deprived, a repair backlog can turn into a noticeable injury. Taken from “When the Curtain Goes Up Again: Building our Fitness to Perform”, BAPAM Mental practice away from the instrument is helpful when your student is injured, fatigued or has been unwell and needs to pace their return. The Strad has advice on mental practice. When returning after a period of ill health, musicians should plan plenty of recovery time and breaks between practice. Bear in mind the impact of other activities during breaks. For example, computer work during a break will not rest an upper limb injury. You can help your student by encouraging them to schedule rest and recovery time.