On May 17, 2010, the Copyright Tribunal of Australia ruled in favor of significantly increased music licensing fees, as requested by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). To avoid paying hefty fees, fitness facilities and group fitness instructors could opt to play royalty-free music. However, on appeal from Fitness Australia, the Federal Court recently overturned that ruling. “We are of the opinion that the Tribunal did conduct itself in a way which was procedurally unfair to Fitness Australia,” stated the Federal Court.
Listening to music may relax patients on mechanical ventilators, potentially reducing any associated complications, according to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2010; , CD006902; doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006902.pub2). Studies show that by relieving anxiety and stress, music therapy can improve coordination and motor skills, enhance the well-being of patients suffering from cognitive disorders and complement treatment for cancer and other conditions. Other benefits include the lack of side effects and the low implementation cost.
Are you or other colleagues at your facility using any particular types of music or featuring special musical events to enhance the experience of clients? For example, have you offered classes that feature live drumming or other types of live music? If yes, what has been the response, and are you doing this as a special event or as a regular class? What fees do you charge, if any?
The ways of the sound system often seem mysterious. What do all those knobs do, anyway? Why does it sound great one day and terrible the next? Most group fitness instructors are simply content to find the “on” switch. Yet we all know that an audio breakdown is frustrating (and embarrassing), not only to us, but to our participants.
July 2013; $10 per class in July 2014;
$12.50 per class in July 2015; and finally
$15 per class beginning in July 2016
(Fitness Australia 2010).
Until the outcome of an appeal filed by
Fitness Australia is known, these fees will be
collected and held in a “suspense” account,
to be paid to the PPCA or refunded to the
fitness facilities accordingly (Fitness
Rhythmic music offered by trained music therapists may help stroke patients restore mobility, according to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2010; 7, doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006 787.pub2). Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia, the University of Louisville in Kentucky and the Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre in London conducted a research review of randomized and quasirandomized controlled trials that compared the effects of music therapy interventions and standard care with those of standard care alone or other therapies.
If there’s one thing that can kill a facility tour, it’s a “black hole.” You know them well: those large areas of your facility that, when unoccupied, silently suck your budget into the operating-costs abyss. Silent tennis courts, empty swimming pools and, yes, even vacant group fitness studios fall into this category. And at the center of the group fitness black hole (well, usually in a corner or a closet) is a black box: the audio system.
On May 17, the Australian Copyright Tribunal voted to increase rates paid by fitness facilities for licensed music used in fitness classes. The new fee structure requires facilities to pay $15 (AUS) per class, or $1 (AUS) per participant ($0.866 [U.S.] at time of reporting); previously, gyms paid $0.97 (AUS) per class. The request was filed by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), a nonprofit organization that provides nonexclusive licenses for protection of sound recordings and music videos.
When you teach group fitness classes, music is probably the most important “equipment” you work with. Appropriate music speed is a key ingredient in both motivation levels and exercise safety. Having an arsenal of premixed, measured and timed music is a convenient and popular way to prepare for class. Music technology has come a long way; fitness CDs, MP3s and music management software help us gather all the information we need.
Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Los Angeles, California, is using a mobile Music Rx® unit donated by the Children’s Cancer Association [CCA] as part of a nationwide expansion of a music therapy program developed for pediatric patients. The mobile unit contains instruments, Apple GarageBand software for recording music, an iPod docking station and an LCD screen that plays music videos. Music therapy is used to ease pain, improve mood, calm fears, facilitate relaxation and make the hospital feel more like home.