Our approach is about linking good design to the musician.
We are all as individual as our instruments. Yet time and again we end up sitting on standard mass produced inappropriate seating, perched at the front swinging forward or slumped at the back. Not only does this seating often look unattractive alongside our instrument it does not promote the best posture for playing. So often this leads to fatigue and can affect technique. Our approach is to change this.
What is the optimum posture?
Over the past 50 years much research has been done to find the optimum seated position for many activities within the work environments. In a recent research paper “The Seated Musician; Furniture Design and its Effect on Performance and Health”, author David Brothers from the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology specifically examines the ergonomics for musicians in research that supports the design that Design In Harmony have developed.
Design in Harmony – Our approach
Our seats are tilted to encourage the natural curvature of the spine and are bespoke to your height optimising correct posture, and allow you to concentrate on your performance.
In essence it is this;
- Rest feet flat on the floor
- Sit upright with a straight back
- Allow the normal lumbar lordosis (concave curvature of the back)
But how is this achieved? Correct height of a seat is fundamental but so too is the natural curvature of the spine. The opening of the angle of the legs to the spine allows for deeper breathing, and keeps the spine in natural vertical alignment. If the spine is carried properly, the arms become more flexible and comfortable. Sometimes however, our instruments dictate position; for example the lever harp. If you prefer to play the harp without a stand or legs fitted, it becomes more important to retain the natural curvature of the spine; when sitting on a flat low seat your pelvis is forced to roll further back exacerbating the natural tendency to slump into the instrument. Bad posture results in poor technique and when continued for extended periods can result in long term back discomfort.
“Being a performer and tutor, I spend most of my day at the harp. Teaching and rehearsing especially I find I can be sat at the harp for hours on end and it is tough to remember to take breaks – not to mention having to sit on whatever is available. Height of the harp for playing is so important, now that I think about it it’s pretty crazy that we leave it to chance that we might be provided with a seat at an appropriate height! In any case, long days spent at the harp has given me quite a few back problems, I used to get a very sore lower back come the end of the day. So when I met Sarah and started to hear about the benefits of the tilted stool I was really keen to try it. It took a bit of getting used to, I think because I was so used to sitting badly – I never now have a sore back at the end of the day. I don’t have to worry about finding something at the right height I sit on because the stool was made to fit exactly my own playing position. I can’t recommend them enough – and all my students love my teaching stool now too!! Not only has it saved my back, but it looks great too! Wood that matches my harp and I was able to choose a fabric I love in my favourite colour. I love my harp stool! .”
Heather Downie – performer and tutor RCS