P1 - B1

Posture and freedom of movement

  • Play with an appropriate balanced and relaxed posture, both sitting and/or standing:
    • holding the instrument appropriately and without tension
    • in a manner which facilitates freedom of movement and the development of a secure technique

Demonstrate the appropriate posture and hand/finger position. Ask learners to copy.

Encourage learners to demonstrate to each other and apply the technical skills in short pieces being learnt.

Without instrument:

  • Show learners how to place equal weight on both feet when standing, and place equal weight on the pelvic bones when seated. Ensure that heads are held up.
  • Devise exercises and games in which learners, standing, practise swinging their arms freely from their shoulders and into the playing position.

With instrument:

  • Encourage learners to practise moving their instruments into the playing position without disturbing the established posture.

Creating effective exercises and drills to enable learners to adopt appropriate posture is invaluable in large-group and whole-class teaching. It promotes independence, giving learners the necessary skills to recreate the desired posture in their individual practice.

Reinforce the importance of always taking a moment to ensure that posture is correct before starting to play, whether in the lesson or in individual practice.

Help may be found in the Alexander Technique and other methods and exercises.

Be aware of learners’ individual physical characteristics and make adaptations as appropriate.

When playing from notation, ensure that the music stand is at a height that encourages a good posture.

Encourage self-evaluation by use of a mirror. Video-recording could also be used for this purpose, but it is vital to check the policy of the school or other organisation you are working in with regards to any form of recording. Children must never be videoed without parental consent and all policies regarding use and storage of recordings must be adhered to.

If learners have photographic permission, encourage them to take photos of themselves and annotate them to identify elements of good posture. This can be done with a photo editing app or presentation programs such as PowerPoint or Google Slides.

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