Research for Practice Speaker Series

“The Talk was extremely informative and I will be sure to implement what I learned in my practice and performance as a novice rower and musician.” – Talk attendee, 2017/18 season

The Research for Practice (R4P) Talk Series presents research from diverse disciplines with links to artists’ health. By drawing on multiple perspectives, the series offers artists, as well as those who treat and train them, insight into the forces which shape their health and wellbeing. The emphasis lies on practical applications of research, bridging the gap between what researchers discover and how artists work.

Cost: FREE

Location: Room 140, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto, 500 University Ave, Toronto, M5G 1V7

Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm | Doors open 5:15pm

Registration: To register, fill in the form below.

Thank you to Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto, and the Actra Fraternal Benefits Society (AFBS) for their support of this series.

afbs logo RSI Logo



Thursday October 25, 2018

Dr. Linnea Thacker

The Hurting Artist:
Musculoskeletal injuries and the role of
health promotion education in the arts

Linnea Thacker, DMA
,  is a violinist and instructor with a research interest in musicians’ health. She is a recent Doctor of Musical Arts graduate of the University of Toronto, where her research on health promotion in music education was awarded a Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship. Linnea has presented at various international conferences, and has taught yoga classes and workshops geared towards musicians locally and internationally. Linnea maintains an active teaching schedule including violin and piano lessons and musicians’ health classes. As a violinist, Linnea has performed as a soloist and in a variety of ensembles, ranging from orchestras and string quartets to jazz and folk groups.


Thursday November 29, 2018

Dr. Kate F. Hays

Easy as A-B-C:
Effective Coping for Performance Anxiety

Performance tension is universal. The challenge for coaches, mentors and other supporters is to harness it before it becomes debilitating anxiety. Given the right tools, performers can instead make constructive use of that tension when it arises. In this Talk, Dr. Kate Hays shares her A-B-C Method for coping with performance anxiety and takes us through the research underlying a “simpler is better” approach.

Kate F. Hays, Ph.D., C.Psych. maintains an independent practice, The Performing Edge, with a specialized focus on performance enhancement for performing artists, athletes, and business leaders. Her research, writing, international teaching, and practice, initially in New Hampshire and, since 1997, in Toronto, have been directed toward both the mental benefits of physical activity and the application of sport psychology techniques to various performance populations. She brings additional personal energy to this work through her own involvement as a runner and musician.

Dr. Hays has authored five books, most recently Performance Psychology in Action (APA, 2009). Active in psychology governance, she has served as president of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology.



Click here to get updates on our Winter 2019 Talks.



  • Registration Information

  • Note: this is optional. Disclosure of health conditions is NOT required at any time.

“For the past decade, the Humber College Theatre Performance program has benefitted greatly from the Artists’ Health Alliance and their phenomenal Education Outreach programs. We have had specialists from the Alliance come in to do subsidized workshops on Vocal Health, Nutrition, and Stress Management to name a few. Our students consistently rave about how informative and useful these workshops are. They are especially enthusiastic about the facilitators, who have a deep understanding of the performer’s craft and a profound knowledge of their particular areas of specialty. In my own experience, the facilitators are able to connect with students in ways that are engaging, entertaining and challenging. They are also very responsive in following up with students when they need more support.”

- Paul de Jong, Theatre Performance Program


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Outreach & Workshop Opportunities


Useful links and resources for the arts community.

Upcoming Workshops

STRESSED! Workshop Series

May 02, 2019

Stress is a tricky part of life. Too much of it, and you’re a blob on the floor. Too little of it, and you’re a blob on the floor. For artists, stress comes not only from the normal pressures of life, but also from the precarious nature of the arts sector which usually means too little time, ...

OVERWHELMED! Strategies to Regain Clarity ***Rescheduled***

February 13, 2019

Please note: New date/time ***February 13, 2019 4:30-6:30 pm    What’s this got to do with stress? Feeling overwhelmed is a particular aspect of stress. In this workshop, gain perspectives, tools and techniques to help overcome this specific stress experience. In this workshop, you can ...

COMPLEMENTARY! Live Well with Stress

March 06, 2019

What’s this got to do with stress? Explore a range of complementary care strategies such as Shiatsu Therapy, a Japanese massage involving pressure points, as well as acupressure, mindfulness and more to help you live well with stress. In this workshop, you can expect to: Understand how it is ...