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Chethams School of Music collaborates with Life Fitness on pioneering Fit to Perform project

  • ‘Fit to Perform’ focuses on the overall wellbeing and specialist needs of extraordinary young musicians
  • Life Fitness advised on equipment selection and programming and provided expert training through the Life Fitness Academy to help staff deliver the Fit to Perform concept

28th January 2019 – The UK’s foremost specialist music school, Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, recently launched Fit to Perform; a new initiative, supported by Life Fitness, that sets the benchmark for how exercise can be used more widely within education.

Fit to Perform, a concept pioneered by Chetham’s Principal Alun Jones, has revolutionised the way physical education is delivered at the school. Centred around the specific needs of each pupil, the project focuses on individuals’ physical and mental wellbeing, by considering the age and motivations of each student to offer bespoke conditioning and general fitness alongside injury prevention. 

“Physical and mental wellbeing has never been more important in music education,” explains the school’s Principal, Alun Jones. 

“Our students are aspiring professional musicians and their health is one of our highest priorities. We needed a programme that moved away from traditional PE and gives them the tools they need to support their talent and encourage them to achieve their potential.”

Life Fitness worked closely with the school to identify fitness equipment that would maximise the space available, and crucially, meet the wide-ranging needs for each student based on their musical preferences. With pupils practicing for upwards of five hours a day, bespoke physical programming using the right equipment is essential to protect against injury and build muscular endurance. 

Alongside strength training equipment from Life Fitness’ Circuit Series, the SYNRGY360 was installed; Life Fitness’s modular training system which caters for diverse audiences and has been designed for small group training, one-on-one personal training and individual exercisers.

The re-structured PE provision at Chetham’s is underpinned by the programming and training provided by the Life Fitness Academy. Interactive workshops were delivered to the school’s staff across three days, focused on information gathering, posture and corrective work, exercise and mental health, and creating small group training experiences.

“The Life Fitness Academy team, led by Keith Smith, fully bought into the concept and understood our goals,” said Alun.

“Working with Life Fitness on Fit to Perform has made it really special; the equipment, the training and the support has been fantastic. They have created a synergy between our new-look PE department, the wellbeing and injury prevention team and heads of department to ensure that each programme is tailored correctly, and that the students are gaining a better understanding of how physical activity will enhance their lives and musicianship.”

Keith Smith, Global Master Trainer for the Life Fitness Academy, said: “The Fit to Perform project is unique and a fantastic example of the wide-ranging benefits of targeted fitness programming; not just on physical health, but also mental wellbeing and as part of a holistic approach to education and development.”

Chetham’s will become a showcase for the pioneering concept, which aims to engage with other music schools and the wider education community to demonstrate the impact of the initiative on pupils’ development. 

Visit www.chethamsschoolofmusic.com for more information.