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Posture at the Piano

Why is it so important to have good posture when playing the piano? (Incidentally, that question can be asked about any instrument!)

Good posture at the piano enables the player to be relaxed, avoiding any kind of tension or injury. If we are tense when we are playing, we are more likely to make mistakes, so sitting correctly is a good starting point.

Follow these few simple suggestions:

  • Sit on a stool rather than a chair with a back (temptation here is to lean back!)

  • Check you are at the correct height

  • Feet should be flat on the floor (when not pedalling), so if not, consider using a footstool of some sort

  • Make sure you are not too close or too far away - you should be able to reach the keyboard comfortably

  • Sit upright with your back straight but comfortable

  • Shoulders should be down and relaxed (not up round your ears!)

  • Elbows should be in at your sides, but again, quite relaxed and loose

  • Arms should be loose at the shoulders with elbows bent at right angles

  • Forearms should be straight from elbows forming 90 degree angle, with hands continuing this straight line to the knuckles

  • Fingers should be bent, in a curved shape (imagine forming a tunnel for a small mouse/ball to get under)

  • Try dropping your arms down your sides and relax.  Fingers will automatically form a curved shape. Carefully raise your hands to the keyboard, maintaining this curved shape

  • Play on the soft pads of your fingers rather than your nails (you don’t want any extra percussion!)

  • Imagine spiders crawling up and down the keys - think about their spidery legs!

  • Imagine headlights on the front of your middle finger joints - these headlights should shine on the backplate of the piano

  • Keep relaxed and comfortable at all times!  If you start to feel tense, drop your hands by your sides and let them dangle until relaxed again

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