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Friday, January 8, 2016

January Focus: POSTURE!

After every holiday break, my studio faces the same challenges. My students have fallen off the practicing routine wagon, they have become lax about posture issues (instrument holds, stances), and they have forgotten most of their repertoire. What to do when this happens?

First, I have learned to expect these problems. That expectation takes a lot of the sting out of the problem. When I know to expect these problems to happen, I feel less stressful when I identify the problems. I have also prepared myself with the tools to fix things.

Second, I have my game plan and my tools ready to go. I start with the usual suspects – bow holds and left hand – and begin anew. I have learned not to worry too much about the situation because it will generally rectify itself quickly during the lessons that follow. And although most parents feel quite guilty because they have let things slide, I do not beat them over the head about it. They are not alone. Other families get swept up in the maelstrom of parties and holiday festivities, extended family and friend visits, and other surprises that upset the normal practicing schedule. We all struggle with the tug of “taking a break” and getting some down time, and in truth, holidays are a lot of fun.

So I remind everyone that our focus will be getting our posture back on track. We add a few songs to our practice lists for review and to help cement our posture issues. And we start.

This month I will put a few well-placed signs about good posture on my studio walls and front door. I will write reminders and lesson notes that focus on these points. And I will ease everyone back into the familiar routine.

For additional reading, here are a few popular articles from the past that might provide some more useful information:

How to Recover from a Practice Break: This article includes many ideas about how to prevent a break from the practice routine, and how to recover from a break if one occurs.

How to Get Started After a Break: This article presents a three-step plan to start rebuilding the practice habit after a break.

How to Get Started After a Break: This short article presents a few tiny steps and a suggestion about a review plan to "get things going" again.

Posture Checklist for Violin: This article presents an 8-point checklist to review and adjust posture issues.

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

©2016 by Paula E. Bird


  1. Thank you! I was asking my self how to get back into practicing, and how to make it into an habit.

    1. I know what you mean! I'm in the middle of making up a practice challenge to spur us on for the new year. Stay tuned! Hope you signed up for the newsletter!