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  • What Seating Are You Using When Teaching? (All Teachers)

    Posted by Guest Teacher on October 9, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Hi All!

    I’ve been teaching guitar in Belfast for the last 7 years or so, and now that I’m teaching almost full time my back is starting to feel the effects of sitting on a stool all day. Do any of you use a particular stool or chair that you feel really helps keep your back straight? What do you use? Whilst on this discussion, it might be worthwhile discussing what seating you have in place for your students. I have two sofas which I used to have ready for students but now I’m looking at buying a couple of said ‘more appropriate’ stools/chairs.



    Phil Schneider replied 7 years, 8 months ago 6 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Matthew Rusk

    October 9, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Hi Matt,

    It is great question, I used to get a sore back from teaching from a guitar stool (probably just my posture when playing guitar to be honest) but started using the base of my office chair (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/chairs-stools-benches/office-chairs/markus-swivel-chair-glose-black-art-20103101/) and that seemed to really help as it was much softer. I didn’t have the arms or back on it – so just the base, the wheels were useful as well to move around if needed. Guess it looked a bit odd but worked really well for sitting on for hours.

    More of a concern for me what that I have developed low level, but sometimes painful, tinnitus. Something that was really effected by teaching 30+ hours per week, as once it was aggravated it was very hard for me to allow it the time to recover. So I guess another questions might be around suitable ear protection for full time music teachers – interesting to get your thoughts.

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    October 9, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I found I was getting a bad back from sitting badly at the piano everyday – my posture wasn’t great even though I was aware of it!

    When I moved into my new teaching studio earlier this year I made a point of buying a proper office chair with back support (as I was just sitting on a piano stool previously) and my back has been so much better!🙂

  • Dave Rutherford

    October 9, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Hey Matt

    I have had back problems for a long time now due to leaning over teaching. I have been to physio before, one said keep your hips higher than your waist – this is a myth dont do that.

    The latest physio i went to, for a while actually, made it very clear its just occupational, and you are going to get it from time to time.

    He recommended:

    1- Getting up from time to time to move around
    2- Putting your palms on the wall and pushing backwards to arch your back and stretching regularly.
    3- swimming. He said it will loosen it all brilliantly.
    4-hugging your legs when laid on your back

    Re seating for you, an office chair that you can drop the arms down on is best, and you can lean back when you do not need to play

    Re seating ofr students, fold away plastic ikea chairs do the job fine, its just a simple chair with no arms.

    i have a drum stool and students always swop it for a chair.

    Hiope that helps Im happy to talk further.

  • Phil Schneider

    October 9, 2016 at 8:50 am


    I’m the same as Matt an office chair or typist chair with hydraulic lift to adjust the height no arms and or no back For the students chair i take off the wheels as I have limited space and students would move the chair. you need to check the min max height too

  • Guest Teacher

    October 9, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for the responses guys. I’m a firm believer in your hips being higher than your knees when playing, so I’m not keen on having students sitting on sofas and am trying to encourage the use of stools. One in particular that I’ve been looking at is a ‘standing support’ (stool) from Ikea that can be raised pretty high (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/chairs-stools-benches/office-chairs/nilserik-standing-support-white-flackarp-green-art-00279568/). I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • Alan Richardson

    October 9, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Hi Matt. I do most of the lessons in other peoples houses but I always encourage students to use a proper upright chair and similar for myself. A settee is very uncomfortable. The worst case was a lesson in South Shields where they didnt have a chair for me. I used to bring a small Marshall amp in to sit on.

  • Jonathan Draper

    October 9, 2016 at 8:57 am

    While a better chair can certainly help, tackling fundamental problems with posture is the most effective method. Alexander Technique is really good for this – it helped me ever so much with cello-related pain.

    Here is a video from my old AT teacher. It’s all about guitar posture. Guitarists should watch it.


    Also see http://alexandertechnique.co.uk/benefits/performing

    I hope this helps.

  • Phil Schneider

    October 9, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Worst guitar position: classical foot stool One leg up creates uneven forces on the lower back.

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