Why is Good Posture not taught in Schools??
Do you have a lot of students with bad posture, with some as young as 5 and 6?
I find this is a problem that we can't fix, because it's a daily full time parent/teacher issue, with the concept of prevention.
Have you been successful at correcting poor posture with young children?
I think sometimes the teacher has so many kids (if we're talking public schools) and they need to learn X amount of content in Y amount of time before the concert that maybe the teacher can't necessarily focus on posture? Additionally, in my time subbing, I've seen lesson groups that are five or more students depending on the district. I suppose it depends on the teacher. Ideally, I'd want my kiddos to have good posture from the beginning.
My first instrument teacher (5th grade) was emphatic that players should sit forward and upright on the edge of the chair, not use the chair back, looking alert and involved in the music, and everyone did. Now I go to a concert and see pros looking like they are getting ready to take a nap, slouching in their seats against the seat back. Looks like crap, in my opinion. To rephrase a comment I saw a violin teacher make once: the audience didn't pay all of that money for a ticket to see an orchestra that looks like it would prefer to be home falling asleep in front of the TV.
Well, in one of my lessons, my teacher just grabbed my violin away from me, and won't give me back I stand straight, body centred and shoulder relax. Then, when I started playing, he took my violin away again in the middle of the piece when my posture was no good. It repeated a quite few times during the lesson.
You're an ADULT student and your teacher confiscated your violin??? I have to say, that's a little over-the-top. But if it worked for you ...
Sort of ish related story here - I've always had fairly good posture, maybe since I started early, but when I was in 6th grade and new to orchestral playing (I wasn't used to sitting down) and I took everything about posture very seriously. However, I think most people did it when they were told, but when they were playing, they were focusing on playing, so that's probably why. Also, I started sitting on the edge of the chair in pretty much all of my classes, and I've fallen off of a chair probably around 4 or 5 times because of this... well, at least I have good posture.
Outside of actual concert halls, musician chair are often terrible. That's especially true at schools. Bad chairs can make it uncomfortable, difficult or impossible to actually sit properly.
I do. All my band have to sit on the front half of the chair with feet flat on the floor, pianists as well. Standing, swayback is not allowed. I say tuck your pelvis/tail in. Anybody have a better verbal instruction?
When I was in elementary school, "good" posture was emphasized - you might say, "taught." It did not seem to work for me. But I did notice that my paternal grandfather also had "stooped shoulders." My father did not inherit that condition, but I did. Is that why I didn't become a virtuoso violinist?
Could this be another effect of too much screen time/lack of exercise?
Lydia makes a good point about chairs. Bad rehearsal chairs have been a major factor in my decision to quit a community orchestra before. (I had other areas of dissatisfaction too, but it was the chairs that made it intolerable.)
This has zero to do with screen time or lack of exercise.
What exactly is "good posture"? Is it modeled after a broomstick, or something more along the natural curvature of the human spine?
I would think of it as Alexander Technique sort of posture. On your "sit bones", relaxed, with a sense of your body being balanced. Plus the Kato Havas inhale-and-feel-like-your-arms-are-flying bit.
I think posture is really hard. When I was little my dad often said "sit up straight", and I would tense up and do so. Now having practiced Alexander Technique for some time, I believe it's very much a matter of the inner feeling, and a search for ever more refined ease. It's wonderful for violin playing, but also for just living. At my day job, so many people are terrible slouchers, and it's not good for you.
There are institutions that successfully teach posture from the beginning, usually with a loud voice on a parade ground, and have been doing so for a very long time.
I wonder how much of the "sit up straight" stuff has to do with appearance, and generations of associating this with "good parenting". Is it really healthier to keep certain muscles tense in order to match a formal profile, or is it better to relax the muscles? Do the Buckingham palace guards have a lower incidence of back and neck problems than a control group, with the only difference being the "standing at attention"?
People who complain about how kids are taught in schools likely have never taught in schools.
I find posture very challenging whether for myself or my students. Our environment does not encourage proper body usage.(Use of the phrase proper body usage rather than posture is intentional.)
"As far as why proper body usage is not taught in schools? To me that question has a simple answer. Because we as a society do not value proper body usage enough. "
"People who complain about how kids are taught in schools likely have never taught in schools."
I teach the Doflien Method and there is emphasis on posture and position from the first page. I try to keep an eye on this without killing the enthusiasm for the instrument. It isn't easy even in private lessons.
George, thank you so much for your service!
All three require a healthy back!
"'People who complain about how kids are taught in schools likely have never taught in schools.'
This is a bit off topic. But since we are talking about good posture, I have come across a couple of good youtube videos made by Nicola Benedetti. It is called "Back to Basic". I think it is good for people at any level.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.