#152 – Get Off The Couch To Get On The Road


Did you know that when playing your instrument, that there’s actually a question of ergonomics? Beyond getting the best sound possible, is there a better way to hold your instrument? Is your posture the best for you when performing? Are you standing or sitting correctly? How about that pain-related playing you experience after long hours of practicing or performing. Are the bad habits you’ve picked up over the years, or even in the past year of the pandemic lockdown, fixable. Does the imbalance of your instrument cause you physical pain? Angela McCuiston is here to explain it all to us.

We talk about taking care of your body, along with taking care of your hearing, all things that musicians (or anyone who works in the music industry, for that matter) should pay close attention to.

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) and owner of Music Strong, a business that specializes in personal fitness training for musicians. 

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. An avid performer, 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 became a member of the 313th Army Band in Huntsville, AL, after completing a 16-year tenure in the 129thArmy 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. 

As a trainer, Angela maintains several training locations in Nashville and travels to give her workshops and presentations, most notably presenting at the National Flute Association Conventions in Salt Lake City, UT; Las Vegas, NV, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, FL. Among her recent workshops, she has traveled to present at Arizona State University, Florida State University, Stephen F. Austin University, Ft. Lewis University, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, among others.

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 since taken up residence on the faculty of the Stetson University flute camp. She has been sought out for numerous other positions, including her recent appointment in Fall of 2018 as Chair of the National Flute Association Performance Health Committee and adjunct flute professor at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, in August 2020.

In February 2019, she published her first book: The Musician’s Essential Exercises, with plans to branch out into instrument-specific volumes in the near future. During the pandemic of 2020, she recorded over 20 instrument-specific workouts available for download.

When she is not performing or training, Angela can be found riding her Trek road bike as many hours as there is sunshine.  She recently completed her 4th-century ride (100+ miles) and has a goal to ride between 5-12 centuries and log 5,000 miles.

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The music provided for this episode is from:

Artist: Tyranassaurus Ray

Single: Hardass

Album: NEBOF

Composer: Ray Amico

The earphones mentioned in this podcast are from Etymotic Research.