Howard Nelson

Adjunct Professor

  • Program:
  • Division:
    Classical Performance and Composition
  • Instrument:
    Physiotherapist Specialist

Howard Nelson is a noted physical therapist and expert in movement-related impairments. He analyzes how postures and movements can be the cause of injury and pain.

Currently, he is in private practice in New York City and focused on treating the biomechanical causes of injuries by modifying faulty movement patterns.

He worked for ten years at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City helping to form the hospital’s Physical Therapy Outpatient Spine Center and serving as its clinical supervisor. He also worked for five years in HSS’s sports medicine department. From 2007 to 2014, he taught a course on movement system impairments for Columbia University’s physical therapy program.

As part of his appointment at the USC Thornton School of Music in collaboration with internationally renowned violinist Pamela Frank, Nelson will lead wellness events and evaluations for Strings students.

During the last few years, he has begun applying movement analysis principles to musicians. Having helped Pamela Frank recover from a career-threatening injury, he has presented her case study and worked with musicians at festivals in Rolle and Verbier, Switzerland, Rice University, Caramoor, Chicago Music Institute, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Curtis Institute, New World Symphony, the Tokyo Viola and Menuhin Competitions, the Tanglewood Music Center, USC, UCLA, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Trident Medical Center, The Performing Arts Medicine Association, Yale University School of Music, The Juilliard School, Peabody Institute, Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Auckland, Music Academy of the West, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Together with Frank, the two have launched Fit as a Fiddle Inc., a collaboration in which they use their expertise for injury prevention and treatment of musicians. Frank and Nelson will continue their collaboration at USC Thornton with the students of the renowned Strings program.