Welcome to UNT Texas Center for Performing Arts Health
It’s been almost a year since Dr. Kris Chesky traveled to South Africa as the keynote speaker for two different conferences, but the impact his presentations made are long lasting. The first conference was aimed at examining the state of higher education in general, and the second was specifically a performing arts health symposium. You can see video of his address to the first conference here:
Dr. Chesky also took the opportunity while in South Africa to wow audiences with his superb jazz trumpet playing during two concerts hosted by the conference organizers. Of the events, Chesky reminisced, “It was such an amazing experience to be on stage with these people I’d never met, never played with, and yet we were totally in sync with one another. The music really transcended all potential barriers.”
The Texas Center for Performing Arts Health is excited to introduce two new clinical collaborators to our center. Dr. Lindsay Ramey and Dr. Jennifer Yang are both physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, and are the newest collaborators with TCPAH. Both women have backgrounds as performers: Dr. Ramey as a dancer, and Dr. Yang as a pianist and singer, providing a personalized experience to their students and patients. As our reach grows, we hope to be able to offer student health services similar to those available at UNT for other higher education institutions in the metroplex, and Drs. Ramey and Yang will play a large role in fulfilling that goal. We welcome our new clinical collaborators and look forward to the Performing Arts Health work we will do together.
Dr. Eric M. Nestler, Professor of Instrumental Studies and renowned saxophonist, has just published a new article in The Saxophone Symposium: Journal of the North American Saxophone Alliance. “The Nightmare of Musician’s Dystonia: A New Dawn of Hope for Treatment,” is a scholarly recounting of Dr. Nestler’s very personal journey of living with dystonia, the treatments available, and the stories of others on the same path. As he defines it in the paper, dystonia is a disorder affecting the nervous system, in which the brain sends the wrong signals to muscles, causing them to contract involuntarily.
After a rapid decline in his ability to play his saxophone, Dr. Nestler was diagnosed with dystonia in 2009 and has spent the past eight years seeking treatment in order to return to the performing career he once enjoyed. Luckily, some of that treatment was found in his own backyard with the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health co-director, Dr. Sajid Surve. Dr. Nestler highlights how his work with Dr. Surve at the Performing Arts Medicine Clinic of the University of North Texas Health Science Center helped him regain the necessary muscle control for proper saxophone embouchure. He was even able to return to performing in 2014, and continues to discover new ways to practice in order to help him overcome the difficulties of dystonia. The Texas Center for Performing Arts Health congratulates Dr. Nestler on the new publication and on his continuing recovery.