Setting Up for Success

Okay, people, we're gonna get literal here. The first step to setting our child up for success at the instrument is to put them in the best position for playing. Literally. We've heard the oft-quoted adage of "substance over form". What I've learnt over these years is that in music, good form is key to producing good substance.

I hear you: Albeit a simple word and concept, "position" involves bringing together seemingly disparate and minute details of bodily placement. I know how excruciatingly tedious it is to place tiny fingers into a curved handhold - only to have that same hand collapse the moment you turn your attention to the feet popping up from the floor or footstool. And we haven't even started playing yet! *frustrated parent tears at hair*

Here's a simple tool to help us all. Having pictures of your child's best playing position in the studio and at home serves as a visual reminder to mimic the same every time the child is at the instrument. As your home set-up will be different from at the studio, you can bring this sheet along for the lesson to discuss with your child's teacher if your set-up at home is putting your child in her best playing position.

Building the foundation of a good playing position will help our child progress fast and progress far into her skills and repertoire. It takes time, patience and lots of hard work. But we will get there. Take heart (and use this tool!)

Templates for both piano and cello students are available. Parents Can Coach Members can download the full template here.

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