Saturday, January 12, 2013

Posture Pictures

Every couple of years, I do a project with my band class I call "Posture Pictures." Not only do I find out what concept of "good" playing posture the student's have, we have fun and laughter is always involved.

A Band Class (or Orchestra or Chorus or Jazz)
Various Instruments (or none if the students sing)
Chairs & Music Stands (or none if not used in the ensemble)
Picture-taking apparatuses (camera, iPod, iPad, etc.)
15-20 Minutes of Class Time (or more or less depending on class size and number of apparatuses)

1. Inform the class that they will be posing 3 pictures: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
2. The students may select the groups or it can be done by section; I put a max of 3 students in a group to ensure they are all participating.
3. The "model" in the pictures may be the same student in each, the students may take turns, and/or multiple students may be in the pictures.
4. If the class is an instrumental group, the instruments must be included in the pictures.
5. The "Good" picture must demonstrate the preferred playing/singing posture for the instrument.
6. The "Bad" picture must demonstrate the typical posture issues seen during class (slouching, leaning, arms on legs/chair, feet on case, etc.)
7. The "Ugly" picture can be any creative idea that is school appropriate; it may be impossible to play the instrument while in the posture.
8. Each group must plan and "practice" each pose before asking to use an apparatus.

I download the pictures to my computer and organize them by class and by type (good/bad/ugly) for my purposes only. I create a slideshow for each class that has the poses mixed and not categorized. For each pose, the class votes on whether it is Good, Bad, or Ugly, and I select students to explain why the pose fits that category. The "Ugly" pictures get some great laughs, and the "Bad" pictures often get comments such as, "You sit that way every day!" Of course, the "good" pictures are excellent representations of the preferred playing postures.

For your pleasure, here are some examples from a class a few years ago. No worries: the models are college-age at this point and have fond memories of this project. I will not label the category; I'm sure you know to which category each examples belongs. Enjoy!

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