6 Postural Pointers from Janet Horvath

This the 2nd of a 5-post series offering a chance to win one of 3 copies of Janet Horvath's book, "Playing (Less) Hurt." Scroll down for details on how to enter yourself to win. Here are Janet's thoughts on cello posture...

It is essential that any instrumentalist is vigilant about their posture at their instrument. Cellists tend to have low back problems due to sitting improperly and we are at a disadvantage that we cannot use the back support of a chair. Here are a few hints for sitting properly and comfortably with your cello.

  • Find a chair that is the proper height for you. Your knees should descend from your hips. Someone who is very tall may have sit on wedge shaped, firm cushions, or put “hockey pucks” under the chair legs, that is, square blocks of wood with a hole for the chair leg to increase the height of the chair.

  • Sit forward so that your feet are firmly on the floor and your weight is forward and on your feet. If you can stand up without having to rearrange your feet you are on the right path.

  • Your back should have a lumbar curve that you naturally have when you are standing. Slumping, or over arching can cause problems.

  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed and your torso facing forward.

  • Turn the cello gently with your knees to play on the A or C strings not your body, as that twists your spine.

  • Keep your head facing forward and avoid cocking, dropping or tilting your head or letting your chin jut out.

Janet Horvath is associate principal cello of the Minnesota Orchestra and the author of "Playing (Less) Hurt - An Injury Prevention Guide For Musicians." An advocate for musicians, she is in demand for her trail-blazing seminars.


How to win a copy a Janet's book, "Playing (Less) Hurt"

1.  Click “Like” below this or any post this week. Bonus smiles if you share with friends via facebook and twitter. (@playinglesshurt & @emilyapeterson)

2. Leave a comment on this post before May 19th 2011 at 12midnight PST. You don’t need to sign in, just make sure you leave your correct email address in your info – this is how I’ll get the shipping info from the 3 winners to the publisher.

- You can comment once for each post this week & enter yourself up to 5 times!

- An random number generator will reveal our 3 lucky commenters. I’ll announce the winners on Friday May 20th 2011. Be sure to subscribe to the blog (there’s an email option) to get the winning announcement.