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GéNIA, creator of Piano-Yoga®:
'These are some props that I have personally found very useful during piano practice:
Feet Support For Children
Many children, when they start playing the piano, often cannot reach the floor with their feet. However, it is crucial to support their feet as it creates a balanced and grounded posture, best for playing the piano and for the well-being of the player.
Very often by not having this support, children establish the wrong posture from an early age and carry it on through to adulthood.
The industry has created special stools for supporting children's feet and can cost anything from £80 - £125. Some parents put boxes and books underneath their children's feet.
Using stacked yoga blocks proves far more effective than any of the above methods as it gives a child good, sturdy support, they can spread their weight evenly and feel like they are touching the ground.
Height support for players
Every player sits in a different position at the piano. Some people like to sit low and some to sit high. The best option is to have a professional stool that is easily adjusted to any height.
However if you do not have an adjustable stool, yoga blocks can be used to create the proper grounding and support required. In fact some players prefer yoga blocks as this allows them to lift their spine and encourages them not to slouch. Also you can stack as many blocks as you are comfortable with.
Use blocks if you feel comfortable but avoid sitting for a long period of time (no more then 30 minutes) as the block itself helps keep the spine upright and some people might find this a little intense particularly if they have a tendency to slouch.
Back Support for Players
Playing the piano often adds pressure to the back, which many piano players often complain about it.
If you suffer from pains in the upper or lower back it is good to use a chair with a back and cushion for support.
Some players find yoga blocks useful.'
Back Support for Players suffering from pain in the upper back
Sometimes piano players suffer from pains in the upper back. In this instance it maybe useful to use a yoga belt while playing.
Follow these steps:
- Loop the belt through the buckle
- Place on your shoulders as if you were wearing a rucksack. Make sure that the buckle is positioned in the middle of the back
- Tighten the belt by pulling on one of the ends until it firmly grips your shoulders and you feel like they are slightly pushed back. This will open up the front of your body.
- You can play sitting with the belt for as long as you are comfortable but do not overdo it and try not to tighten the belt too much.
Photographer: Pamela Troni
Models: Trudi Oliveiro & Emilie Cheung
Photos: © Piano-Yoga Ltd