How much importance do you place on technique in your studio? Chances are if you’ve experienced a pianistic injury yourself you consider your technique teaching very carefully. It can be hard to undo bad habits we get into through years of study.
Playing an instrument is a physical task, but we don’t often think about it that way. A professional athlete would have a team of physiotherapists behind them. So why do you not see the same for a concert pianist?
Dr. Bronwen Ackermann suffered an injury from playing clarinet when she was younger. She assumed her experience was unusual and that most musicians had better technique training than she did.
When she became a physiotherapist she discovered most musicians didn’t know enough about the anatomy. We need to understand how our bodies work to avoid a pianistic injury.
Bronwen is on the show today to give us a medical and technical perspective on piano technique. We’re talking about how to prevent pianistic injuries and how to teach our students better techniques from the start.
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A number of teachers have asked to see the video of the warmup section of our conversation. Please find it below – I hope it’s helpful. Please feel free to refer your students to it.
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There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.
Being a full-time teacher myself, I know how busy teachers are and how much time, effort and passion we put into our students. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do in our time off is listen to more piano teaching stuff! So, well done for using this time for self-improvement.
Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons.
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Do you place a big importance on how your students sit at the piano, or how they hold their arms?
Does Bronwen’s idea of a physical warm-up before you sit down at the piano appeal to you?