You can lose yourself …and good posture – in the music

It is easy to get captivated, get lost in the music and lose good posture.

Good posture has to do with the position of the spine. Proper spine alignment means having a straight upper and lower back with shoulders back. As is the case with many things – it takes some work before it becomes an ingrained habit. At which point the job is done and one can relax into position.

Posture is particularly important for a musician as it affects the sound and look. Consider the piano player. To maintain good posture requires the absence of tension in the shoulder blades with weight centred on one’s buttocks. The singer must pay attention to posture as it impacts on breathing and the capacity to ‘carry a note’. The humble listener, the jazz aficionado, must also remain alert to the hazards of poor posture as slouching becomes entrenched once that rhythm and sound takes over and time becomes.. inconsequential!

Poor posture not only affects the aesthetics but often precedes long term back problems. A frequently seen health problem amongst professional musicians is performance-associated musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). String players are the most at-risk group of musicians of developing back problems. It’s worth investing to get it right.

Helpful tips to maintain good posture:
• When seated rest your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest if required
• Practice playing in the mirror – keep checking your posture to ensure shoulders are pulled back
• Ask a teacher or professional player to look at your playing position and posture and to point out any ways it can be improved.
• Try not to sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time

For many our lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary. You don’t have to be a budding musician to end up slouching when sitting for long periods. Working from home [wfh] increases the risk of slouching as we work from the kitchen table – increasing the likelihood of back problems. Dining room chairs seldom give proper support and are often uncomfortable after sitting for a while. A lumbar support cushion can give good support where needed and prevent slouching. It provides a compromise to purchasing a more expensive ergonomic chair. Perhaps the problem is uncomfortable seating – padded support with an ergonomic seat cushion may be an affordable solution

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