Teaching female students - sitting position

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dojo
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Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by dojo » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:05 pm

I have played & taught classical for over 10 years. I previously worked in an all boys school and never personally encountered wardrobe issues in my own career (or even thought about it):D I have recently changed schools and now work in a mixed school. Obviously I know the correct sitting position but the uniform at this school is a fairly fitted skirt to above the knee, meaning that when a female student wants to sit with the guitar on her left leg she has to adjust her skirt into an inelegant position. I know cello players have the same problem but I was just wondering if anyone had any advice? Without compromising their learning. Would a flamenco position be suitable?

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by Erik Zurcher » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:30 pm

Hello dojo, as a new member may I invite you to introduce yourself here?
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Ramon Amira
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by Ramon Amira » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:11 pm

A flamenco position will not work. It's too difficult, and even worse for a female. It takes many months and sometimes years to master the traditional flamenco position.

There is no good answer here. In thirty-five years of teaching I have had many female students, but I have always been in private practice, so I just have them wear slacks. Perhaps if you explain the situation to the school administration they will allow the girls to change into slacks just for the lesson, and then change back to the uniform. That wouldn't take long, and could solve the problem. Apart from that I don't see what could possibly be done short of erecting a screen of some kind which doesn't seem very practical.

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celestemcc
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by celestemcc » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:38 pm

If the administration will allow slacks, as Ramon suggests, that solves the problem. Otherwise, the girls could wear leggings (not tights) under their uniform skirt, which will not solve the inelegance issue, but will keep them more covered at least. These come in lengths from just below-the-knee to at the ankle.

By leggings I mean the heavier-weight kind, footless, or running "tights", which are the same idea, not simple pantyhose.
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bear
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by bear » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:56 pm

I understand the reasons for uniforms but I think forcing girls to wear skirts is archaic.
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muirtan
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by muirtan » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:01 pm

When I first learnt many moons ago ( all girls school) we played crossed legged right over left. having said that I would have preferred the trousers and a proper seating position. Would it be possible for the girls to have a longer wrap over skirt they could wear over their usual uniform just for guitar lessons? There would still be a problem for concerts but maybe an exception could be made there also.

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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by simonm » Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:21 pm

bear wrote:I understand the reasons for uniforms but I think forcing girls to wear skirts is archaic.
And of course teenagers will be teenagers so of course the kids will have come up with all sorts of schemes to make them sexier. Step one, hike it up as far as possible and insist on wearing one at least one size too small, buttons "falling" off blouses etc. Depends a bit on the school of course - a posh private school may be a bit different - but why wear a uniform if you can't have fun getting round the rules.

If the kids want to play, they will come up with a solution.

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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by celestemcc » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:46 pm

Still, it can be a bit uncomfortable for the teacher, even when teen girls are testing their limits -- especially so. I agree with Bear: forcing skirts is definitely archaic. I was one of those late-60's, early 70's schoolgirls who pushed the rules re uniforms for sure, but many of us wore jean shorts underneath daily, so we didn't have to worry so much about dealing with impossible straight skirts: we were much too concerned with comfort and a kind of practical modesty.

Dojo, let us know what happens. Your request is entirely reasonable!
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dojo
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by dojo » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:04 am

Ok thanks for the reply.

I think I will ask them to put on a pair of leggings (running style) before the lesson.

Concerts normally have a different dress code (all black) so they could wear a long skirt.

Independent schools in UK tend to stick to tradition and all the girls wear these types of skirts.

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Blondie
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by Blondie » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:17 am

Feet flat on floor, legs together with guitar support lying across the lap, or on either leg, would be worth a try. Adjustable guitar supports would be best for this. See here for examples, although obviously this is a guy in trousers and can be more relaxed about his legs:
http://www.deoromusic.com/deoromusic/gu ... ement.html

On the subject, as you have identified the problem I would advise you have an obligation to raise it, in writing, to the head teacher. In today's climate child protection is a sensitive issue (in the UK it's in the news all the time) and by *not* raising it (and having your concern on record) you potentially put yourself at risk of future allegations and misunderstandings.
Last edited by Blondie on Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

celestemcc
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by celestemcc » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:58 pm

Glad to help, Dojo. Leggings-under-skirt is an inexpensive solution.
I completely concur with Blondie on writing to the headmaster. And it might be best to turn away any student who doesn't conform to the lesson "dress code" for the day.

Anecdote: Reasons for weird sitting positions.... when I was a teen in high school in the early '70s, we got driving lessons sponsored by the school. The teacher -- an older man -- made all students drive with the left knee to the door (I'm in the States). We learned on an automatic transmission. We girls found it a bit creepy, but we had pleated uniform skirts, were covered, and he never did a thing to us... years later I drove a manual transmission exclusively, till one day I was forced to drive an automatic again, and sat utterly befuddled for moments -- my feet expected a clutch! That high school memory came to mind and I put my left knee to the door: Voila! in that position, I wasn't inclined anymore to use my left foot for the non-existent clutch, and drove easily. Today, I suspect that driving teacher would have been reported and chastised...
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sxedio
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by sxedio » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:12 pm

muirtan wrote:When I first learnt many moons ago ( all girls school) we played crossed legged right over left.
I've seen this in 1960's tutor books, it is hilarious that this is still an issue, but I guess you could consider that guitar lessons require special clothing, just like sports :)
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muirtan
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by muirtan » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:39 pm

sxedio wrote:
muirtan wrote:When I first learnt many moons ago ( all girls school) we played crossed legged right over left.
I've seen this in 1960's tutor books, it is hilarious that this is still an issue, but I guess you could consider that guitar lessons require special clothing, just like sports :)
I think as much as anything music lessons were often in the needlework room and there were stools to sit on or the bench. Considering the height of stool etc this was the most comfortable way to sit and none of us had footstools. Re skirt length, for 6th form any length but for the lower 5 years skirts should have been below/on the knee and pleated so modesty wouldn't as such been a problem.

oc chuck
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by oc chuck » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:41 pm

After collecting info and suggestions, (which you are doing here)
and maybe getting various photos/videos, let the girls decide what
make them comfortable.

As in sports, the girls generally wear what the boys are wearing.

Mike Gover
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Re: Teaching female students - sitting position

Post by Mike Gover » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:38 am

Why not purchase a couple Gitano guitar supports- quite inexpensive, elegant and allows your students (male and female) to sit with better posture.

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