Energy expenditure

The physiological demands of practising and performing

This study will investigate the energy expenditure of skilled pianists and percussionists while practising and performing a set series of pieces. In doing so, the research team hopes to gain a better understanding of the role of physical fitness in musicians. Additionally, this study will seek to examine the impact of different variables that might influence musicians’ energy expenditure during music-making activities, such as their level of expertise, the repertoire played, and their posture while playing.

Conservatoire students and staff will be offered the opportunity to participate in this two- stage study. The first stage will involve a treadmill-based assessment of their maximal physical capacity. The second stage will comprise an assessment of the energy required to practice and perform two set pieces of repertoire. For both stages, two pieces of equipment that monitor energy expenditure will be used: a heart rate monitor and a portable gas analyser mask.

If you would like more information or would like to take part in this study, please contact Emma Redding (


Conservatoires UK