Encouraging Correct Posture In Young Musicians
Posted on in Learning Environment
A failure to maintain the appropriate postural alignment in musical professionals can result in severe back problems and pain at a later stage. When the spine is not in the proper position, it will lead to inhibitions in performance capabilities and requires encouraging correct posture in your musicians. Alignment will minimize the development of chronic conditions that affect stability and the means to reach full playing potential.
According to Mark Davies, a chiropractor in Rayleigh, Essex, it is important to instill the correct postural awareness in children as they learn. “I see a number of musicians over the course of a year with elbow, shoulder and lower back problems due to poor postural alignment. When they show me how they actually play I can see where they are placing undue stress upon joints and muscles. They have played this way most of their lives, and over time they have aggravated that part of their body.
“It would be better if they had learned to play in a manner that worked with their body, rather than against it. Bringing this awareness to children as they learn could save them difficulties later in life.”
Many musicians are unaware of the impact that posture can have on the quality of playing including subtle changes in the delivery of tone and beat. Managing the appropriate ergonomics proves most beneficial for musical players as it protects against the development of chronic conditions that affect spinal stability and predispose one to repetitive stress injuries. Methods such as The Alexander Technique have beome popular as it is increasingly recognised thet changes in structure will negatively impact wellness and the ability to maintain a functional position to effectively play instruments.
There are a number of chronic conditions that a musician is increasingly susceptible to sustaining including spinal imbalance, poor posture, repetitive stress, frozen shoulder, and carpal tunnel depending upon style of play and the type of instrument. Sitting in the same position for extended periods can cause strain. Refrain from keeping the shoulders hunched and the back curved as it places tremendous pressure on the spinal joints, tissues, and interconnected nerves.
When the spine remains in the improper position for too long, individuals will begin to experience back ache and neck stiffness that will compromise the ability to play in a smooth and effective manner. Chronic aches and strain will result when engaging in a position where posture is compromised and leads to excess strain on joints and tissues. Painful symptoms make it increasingly difficult to perform regular playing abilities and will affect the sound and standard of music that are produced.
The performance of musical apparatus that involves repetitive motions including wind and string instrumentation can increase risk for repetitive stress injuries. Engaging in similar motions on a continuous basis can lead to stiff joints, cramping, and irritation of the surrounding nerves. Injuries placing a musician on rest for a period of time can compromise future performance opportunities and skill development.
The purpose of maintaining a state of spinal alignment through good posture is to maintain the proper ergonomics for continuous play without discomfort. It is advantageous for all musicians to learn about the importance of managing balance of physical structures and musculoskeletal support. When the body is provided the correct stability, it will facilitate improved performance and the ability to handle instruments.
The repetitive nature of playing instruments and remaining in a similar position for extended periods can cause a significant amount of back, neck, and shoulder pain. The first step is to learn how to maintain the right posture as it keeps the spine aligned and prevents against excessive nerve pressure. Posture can be achieved with the alignment of the head, shoulders, and hips without forcing the chest forward.
There are a number of techniques that can be put in place to aid in the maintenance of a balanced musculoskeletal systems and spinal stability. The performance of music requires that regular stretches and strengthening methods are engaged to keep structures strong and to prevent against the development of injuries. This includes sufficient rest after training and events that will protect against the formation of severe repetitive strain.
Back and shoulder pain can be minimized with gentle stretches that are implemented before performance is undertaken to buffer against the adverse effects associated with problem operation. Deep breathing can assist in relaxing the tissues and the body in preparation for the physicality of playing instruments. Changing the tempo of play will minimize the occurrence of repetitive stress that is responsible for pain, stiff joints, and dysfunction in the affected limbs.
Whether remaining seated or standing, the limbs can benefit from slow stretches that will improve circulation and flexibility. Keeping mobile and stretching the neck and shoulders with gentle rotating movements are most effective in protecting against the severe strain and restrictions that can develop with bad posture and repeated actions. A healthy spine and posture requires the appropriate weight management strategies.
Musicians are encouraged to keep an aligned posture and to engage in suitable exercises that aim to strengthen the tissues and the limbs against future injuries. Stronger muscles and regular activity are important to maintain good ergonomics and keep muscles, joints, and nerves in a balanced and flexible state throughout performances. Incorporating a number of strategies for wellness will aid in maintaining musical abilities without severe damage or excessive strain.