P5 - B1

Posture and freedom of movement

  • Maintain physical freedom and ease, without unnecessary tension:
    • across the full range of the instrument, indicating awareness and understanding of the whole body as a balanced playing mechanism
    • playing with a comfortable and balanced position which ensures flexibility when playing hands separately and together
    • playing with free and confident movement
    • playing with economy of movement when tackling challenging and demanding passages

Encourage learners to evaluate their posture, using video recordings and mirrors where appropriate.

Some learners with poor posture and/or tension problems find relaxation methods useful, e.g. yoga, Alexander Technique.

Ask learners to devise their own checklist of the main sources of tension. Discuss how tension can be alleviated.

Encourage learners to find solutions for complex pianistic passages.

Demonstrate approaches such as a rotation and lateral movement, providing preliminary exercises for their use in repertoire. Ask learners to identify passages where these approaches are appropriate.

Invite learners to devise their own exercises for dealing with the rapid, free movement required by fast leaps in pieces.

Continue to encourage positive body language when performing.

Encourage learners to use imagery in order to convey the character and mood of the music. Discuss how posture may contribute towards communication.

Provide opportunities for learners to observe how others communicate in performance, e.g. masterclasses, concerts.

Encourage learners to attend a wide range of live performances where possible, and/or watch live performances online.

Help learners to use their posture to communicate musical intention, e.g. beginning and/or changing tempo in an ensemble.

Discuss ways in which learners can develop the physical and mental stamina required to play longer, more demanding pieces.

Explore the progression of this Learning Objective

Continue exploring the current Programme of Study