Wellness Programs

The Wellness Initiative offers a variety of workshops, services, and courses geared towards prevention and recovery. Events are generally free and open to all SMTD students, faculty and staff.

Wellness Events

This page provides an overview of the types of events Wellness offers. Please refer to our main events calendar for upcoming events and event registration.

Partnering with Michigan Medicine specialists, we offer clinics for physical pain, hand problems, and hearing conservation.

Performing Arts Health Clinic

The on-site Performing Arts Health Clinic, offered in partnership with MedSport and MPerform, provides students the opportunity to meet with either a MedSport clinician or a hand specialist to discuss any pain, injury, or discomfort. These one-on-one appointments help students with identifying sources of pain and any postural misalignments. Students are given individualized exercise and stretching plans. Referrals for further treatment are provided on an as-needed basis. At the beginning of each academic year we also provide musculoskeletal and neurological screenings for all incoming freshmen.

Hearing Conservation Program

A partnership with Michigan Audiology brings hearing screenings to SMTD and Marching Band students as well as educational talks on hearing protection. More information about hearing protection is available in this slideshow (PDF).

Guest presentations offered throughout the year. Topics include injury prevention, hearing health, performance anxiety, nutrition, and more.

Non-credit, 5-week meditation sessions are offered each semester. During these sessions, we explore different forms of meditation such as breathing, body scanning, walking and hearing meditation. No meditation experience needed. Free and open to all SMTD faculty, staff and students.

Shake It Off

This bi-annual event provides students with an opportunity for stress-relief the week before finals. Featuring Therapaws, snacks and meditation crafts. Co-hosted by EXCEL, CAPS, and the SMTD Wellness Initiative.

Performing Arts Medicine and Rehabilitation Symposium

Co-hosted by MedSport and SMTD this one-day biennial event is geared towards healthcare professionals and performing artists. Sessions include topics such as injury-prevention, recovery, mental health and treating the performing artist as an athlete. Open to SMTD students, faculty and staff.

SMTD Staff Professional Development Day

This annual event provides staff an opportunity to learn new skills on various career and work-life balance topics. Chair massages are available in the afternoon on a first-come first-served basis. This event is free and open to all SMTD staff.

Gentle Yoga for Faculty & Staff

12-week course offered every semester. Suitable for all levels: A restful, calming class including breathing, gentle flowing movements, passive and supported poses. In this class, postures are practiced to align, strengthen and promote flexibility in the body, in a fun and safe manner. This is a perfect class for anyone looking to bring more balance, energy, and ease into their daily life.

Medical Arts Group Piano provides group keyboard instruction for students in the Medical Arts Program. Weekly classes are taught in the Moore Building on North Campus by a School of Music, Theatre & Dance Graduate Student Instructor, and the program is supervised by Dr. Paola Savvidou, SMTD Wellness Initiative Program Manager & Adjunct Lecturer in Music (Piano) and Dr. John Ellis, Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy. Open to U-M medical students.

To learn about a student’s experience in this class, visit the Medical Student blog page.


Mental Health Awareness Microgrant

This grant provides up to $250 of support for student-led projects by individuals or teams that use the performing arts to increase awareness of mental health issues. Up to three projects will be funded. The grant is supported by a generous donation to support SMTD students in collaboration with the U-M Depression Center.

Applications are due by Friday, November 1, 2019 at 5:00 PM. Grantees will be notified within about two weeks and projects must be completed by May 31, 2020. Recipients must agree to attend a Depression Center training on Friday, November 22, 4:00-5:00 PM in the Conference room in Moore.

Eligibility Criteria

The primary grant applicant must be a current undergraduate or graduate student in SMTD at the time of application. Applicants can receive the grant only once.

Criteria for Projects

Projects must be SMTD-based and student-led, and use the performing arts to raise awareness of mental health as a primary focus. Projects may include, but are not limited to presentations, performances, research studies, or media campaigns.

Grants CANNOT be used to pay for  attendance and/or travel expenses for conferences, festivals, competitions, apprenticeships, internships, or routine costs associated with curricular study abroad activities. We also will not fund recurring, annual activities that are hosted by U-M student organizations, or degree-related activities.

Projects should demonstrate:

  • Clearly defined mental health awareness impact for the community
  • Learning outcomes for the applicant(s)

Selected teams are required attend a training to learn more about the most common mental health concerns among college students, discuss best practices around sharing mental health-related information, and review microgrant requirements. The aim of the training is to increase understanding among student team members in order to maximize project impact.

The training is scheduled for Friday, November 22, 4:00-5:00 PM in the Conference room in Moore.

Note: Funded projects will need to request space usage according to SMTD scheduling guidelines. All requests from funded projects for SMTD instrument usage must be approved by respective faculty supervisors.


To apply, submit the materials listed below in a single PDF prior to the November 1 deadline through this online portal. In the case of teams, the team leader should submit one application.

Cover Sheet

  • List the applicant names, student ID numbers, and degree programs, including the primary applicant (team leader)

Grant Narrative – please address the following questions in a 500-word document:

  • Describe your project and expected impact for your community (SMTD, campus, or field of study).
  • Describe the benefits and challenges you might face as you implement this project.
  • How do you anticipate carrying out the project? Explain the general timeline and describe team member responsibilities.

Project Budget

  • List all expenses and indicate those that this SMTD Wellness Initiative Mental Health Awareness Microgrant will cover
  • Include any other secured funding from other sources and other projected revenue streams (not required to receive funding)

Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter from a faculty mentor is required for full consideration. Letters must be  submitted to by the deadline.

Performing WellCASTs

A series of educational talks on topics of interest to the performing artist. Available on the SMTD Wellness YouTube playlist:

Wellness Courses

Wellness courses provide our students with the tools they need to support their physical and mental well-being. Courses available include Yoga for Performers, Alexander Technique, Wellness for the Performing Artist, and contemplative studies.