Ep. 79: Holistic health, wellness, and musicianship; with Austin Pancner

health & wellness

Photo by Yayan Sopian on Unsplash

January 26, 2021

Our everyday movements and habits affect both our overall wellness AND our musicianship. Athletic and musical performers have much in common, including a susceptibility to repetitive use injuries, and physical performances that are highly affected by what’s going on between our ears – our mental and emotional states. Founder and CEO of The Functional Musician, Austin Pancner is passionate about empowering musicians to overcome and prevent tension, pain, and injury; and achieve optimal wellbeing in the process.

Austin Pancner


We’ve talked before on this show about the similarities between athletic performers and musical performers; and one thing these groups have in common is a susceptibility to repetitive use injuries. Another reality these groups have in common is that our physical performances are highly affected by what’s going on between our ears – our mental and emotional states. And these states are highly influenced by a number of factors.  I have with me today the perfect person to discuss how we as musicians can nurture our wellbeing in a holistic way that will support our lifestyle and career path. Austin Pancner is founder and CEO of The Functional Musician, an online coaching company empowering musicians to perform without pain. The program is designed to both overcome and prevent tension, pain, and injury. Austin is a health and wellness professional holding several accredited certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Precision Nutrition, and Functional Movement Systems.  He is currently finishing up his doctoral studies at Indiana University.


  • Austin tells his personal story of sports, music, injury, and how their intersection led to the mission of The Functional Musician.
  • Austin explains the vision of his Holistic Transformation Program, and how it is adapted and designed specifically for musicians.
  • Program steps include:
    1. Assessment, Analysis, and Program Design
    2. Bulletproof your body
    3. Strengthen your body into an injury resistant alignment
    4. Mindset tool development

 Connect/Other Resources


Austin describes a powerful music experience from the first year of his Master’s degree at Indiana University. It was in the moments he describes that he realized music would truly be something that would be a major part of his life, for the rest of his life.

Closing Words

Thank you, Austin, for sharing your story with us AND sharing the hope that is offered through The Functional Musician. I had a music-related injury (golfers elbow and tennis elbow) over 10 years ago, and really wondered if I was going to be able to keep playing the piano (OR scoop ice cream ever again!). And it really was a multi-pronged approach that eventually brought healing; but it was a drawn out, trial-and-error process that was more painful and took much longer than it would have, I’m sure, if I had Austin’s Functional Musician coaching.  If the topic of holistic health & wellness, and/or injury healing & prevention is of interest to you, check out the many links in the show notes, including thefunctionalmusician.com.

One way that music has been enhancing my life recently is through my attendance at some virtual music-related conferences. At one of them, I heard a presentation by another music podcaster that I really enjoyed, and have since connected with this producer & host, and wanted to introduce you to the excellent content of “The Business Side of Music Podcast.” Here’s a quick taste of the podcast, from host Bob Bender of Nashville, who is an established music industry veteran:

For more information on The Business Side of Music podcast, visit their website.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

2 responses to “Ep. 79: Holistic health, wellness, and musicianship; with Austin Pancner”

  1. Such a pleasure to meet and chat about these topics with Mindy. Her questions were thoughtful and very insightful. I hope I was able to provide some insight into these topics and provide listeners with some value. If you’re a musician going through tension, pain, or injury know that you are not alone, you’re not broken, and if I can return from injury, so can you!

    If you found this podcast interesting and insightful, definitely check out Mindy’s other podcasts. Also check out my Instagram account @the_functional_musician.