More than 30 years of intense research into music physiology and music medicine have produced alarming studies on the state of health of professional musicians. With the foundation of the Swiss University Centre for Music Physiology, primary health protection at the music university and music school level in Switzerland can be promoted. On one hand, teaching of and research in music physiology should further improve the quality of education in Swiss music universities. On the other hand, continuing education opportunities for professional musicians need to be enhanced and expanded. The importance given to continuing education within the framework of the Bologna-Reform supports these goals.

Unlike institutions in the United States and other European countries, the Swiss University Centre for Music Physiology’s strength is that it is directly embedded in everyday activities of the respective music university. This is achieved through close collaboration between staff and faculties and creates a climate of trust and support between the centre and students, and/or with their teachers, respectively. Doing so prevents the centre from becoming an “alien” entity within the college. The primary purpose of music physiology is to support artistic and pedagogic competency, which remain at the heart of studies at music universities. A wide selection of medical and therapeutic competencies must become available to achieve this goal. The very open and general term “music physiology” was coined based on this need.

In the area of functional disorders, which cause the majority of all problems in playing music, early improvement and the ability for self-organisation in musicians (“help to help yourself ”) can achieve a great deal. By doing so, the general tendency to view problems from a pathological/medical standpoint and the subsequent commercial/pharmaceutical treatment of issues not requiring such a radical approach can be effectively counteracted.