SoleMate piano footstool our Story
How SoleMate was born by Mary Thomas.
I had been searching to buy a piano foot stool for my younger pupils, for a very long time and not been able to buy one. Since there is no such product available.
A few years ago, I took some of my pupils to an Epta performance event in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, a prestige venue. The pupils had the opportunity to play an amazing black, shiny and very expensive piano. I had no choice but to bring my bright green plastic little kitchen steps for my little pupils to rest their feet on as their legs could not reach the floor. There was another teacher there and she brought a blue crate and turned it up side down for her pupils. Both items looked out of place so l decided that I have to do something about this.
I wanted a foot stool that looked smart.
I wanted one that was portable so I could take to a concert venues and exam centres in a bag.
I wanted a foot stool that I could adjust to different heights within seconds.
I asked my daughter who did a 3D Design degree to make one for me. We put our heads together and took some measurements and SoleMate was born.
I believe in teaching pupils to have good posture from the first lessons and then we as teachers must check it at the start of every lesson, it only takes 10 seconds.
We do the Karate pose, as described in piano Adventure Technique and Artistry book primer level, this is to check the distance between the keyboard and the bench. The pupils sit on the front half of the bench.
The Karate pose is to put your arm straight in front of you, make a loose fist, (your knuckles should touch the fallboard). If you have to lean, move the bench forward or backward.
With the help of mnemonic from the the words of the children song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes we do our check list. (this is good way to help pupils to remember what to say if they do Trinity grade 2 Music knowledge, where they have to talk about posture).
Has to be straight, imagine a piece of string is attached to our head and is pulling us up to sit tall.
Have to be relaxed, our arms are hanging loosely from the shoulder.
Here we check our hands and to see if the height of the bench is correct. We put our hands cupped on to our knees to form a beautiful, curved hand position and bring it to up on to the keyboard. Next, we check if our forearms and elbows are level with the keyboard and if not sit on a cushion or a large book.
Feet must be flat firmly on the floor and right foot slightly forward, if the feet don't reach the floor a foot stool must be used, according to Drusilla Redman a physiotherapist who specialises in the health of musician and performers, if we let our pupils to have their legs dangling in the air, this will cause strain to their hips and will cause problems later on in their life. With the legs well supported, this allow for proper distribution of body weight and keep the body in balance, once this balance is right, the pupil will be able to support their arms properly and then be able to apply arm weight to their fingers and a beautiful rich sound will be produced.
SoleMate Piano Footstool will assist with giving good posture which will benefit pupils with not only their health but making a good sound on the piano.
SoleMate has 3 different heights and you can access them simply by turning the foot stool over.
SoleMate is very portable and also looks professional in lessons, exams, recitals and concerts.
SoleMate comes in 2 colours.
Black £39.46 (20% off RRP of £49.95)
Natural Oak £115.00