Making posture uncomplicated

rediscoverAlexander Technique, Learning process, Musician's health, Musician's wellbeing

As I learn more and more about the developmental process of language acquisition, I also start to ask more fundamental questions regarding the social ideas surrounding ‘posture’.

I wonder if how posture is defined, at least through the western remedial model, is something that can be helpful to our practice or application of it.

What if ‘posture’ is learnt in a similar way as spoken language?

Rather than try to push a certain view point across on this subject (there are too many prevalent perspectives in circulation, and they all have their own value), and knowing that I am writing something that might relate to the practice and wellbeing of musicians, I wanted to share the following video and ask you to form your own questions about your relationship with ‘posture’.  Especially if this relationships has become problematic or limits your desire to express yourself.

Is posture a language? My current immersion in sociological, psychological, educational and philosophical perspectives leads me to form a working hypothesis  that  we do learn it (posture) in a similar way to how we acquire language skills, but we can also rationalise and make a more efficient relationships with it, at least for the purposes of music making.

Much of my work in teaching, learning and practicing ‘posture’ is based on an open inquiry that gives the conception of ‘posture’ a more dynamic and ‘in time’ perspective in comparison to prevalent models that can be based on:

  • Body degeneration over a life span
  • Specific muscle strength as an end and means
  • Fixed view of spinal biomechanics
  • Brocken and requiring ‘fixing’ by expert physical manipulation
  • Western anatomical knowledge/text
  • Over ‘tense’ and requiring ‘release’ muscle or joint

and especially:

  • ‘Good’ versus ‘bad’.

Human expression is vast.  Spoken language is one form of it, and perhaps body gestures and ‘posture’ another.  There are also vast reasons why we believe that a certain way of practicing our body while expressing ourselves through a musical instrument is ‘right’, ‘wrong’, ‘comfortable’, ‘strange’ or just ‘unexamined’.

My view leans towards forming a flexible but reasoned model that can be practiced in time, and in context.  In a similar way to language, body efficiency or movement mastery can be ‘practiced’ in time and improved without limit.

Thanks again for reading, and as always, I love to hear about your experiences with managing your wellbeing as a musician.