Why a good piano posture is important


Playing the piano is a low-risk activity, we all agree to that. But spending a lot of time at the piano with a bad posture can strain our bodies and affect the quality of our performance.

Students and especially children don't pay attention to a good piano posture when they play the piano alone at home. To be pretty honest, some of them don't take it seriously even when they come for a lesson.

So during the piano lessons, before a student starts playing the piano  I always ask him to fix his piano posture and I help him if needed.

It is also a  subject that I bring to the surface when I talk to parents explaining the importance of a good piano posture.

It is far too easy to get used to a bad piano posture that can lead to years of pain and discomfort.

What a bad piano posture can cause?

Tension in various parts of our body like spine, arms. elbows, wrists.

Preventing the development of our pianistic skills.

More practice without the results we are expecting.

What is a good piano posture?

A good piano posture is the one that looks and feels natural.

Although it sounds easy, it is not always easy to put words in action.

With  a little help from the teacher or the parent ( with the teacher’s guidance) every student can embody a good  natural piano posture.

What are the benefits of a good piano posture?

Eliminates tension

A student who has a bad  body or hand posture will eventually cause tension to some parts of his body, whether it’s in the hand, the spine or the neck.

Contributes to better performance

Undoubtably when a student has a good piano posture he produces a better quality of sound. He has a better speed, he plays more fluently, more expressively.

Freedom and confidence

With a good piano posture we unquestionably have many reasons to feel more confidence. Our playing is better, our piano practice time is less because now our practicing brings better results faster. We have a freedom while playing with a more natural and comfortable posture.

Before and after photos of piano postures

When my students have a bad piano posture I always ask them to try better for a good one.

I also take before and after pictures of them,  I create a layout photo so they can see the difference which is most of the times huge.

I ask them which posture they like and why. We have a small discussion about it and then I send the photo to them so they always remember to have a good posture not only when they play the piano but in general.

How do we establish a good piano posture for our students?

From the very first lesson we should encourage our students to establish a good piano posture.

Give them personalized tips to remember how to accomplish it.

There are a few things to be aware of: bench, feet, spine, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrist, fingers.

Height of the bench

Height: A suitable bench is the one not too high and not too low for our student. The student should be able to reach the keys of the piano while having his forearms parallel to the ground.

The wrists should not be below the keyboard, but they should also not be too high.

To achieve that, you may use adjustable bench  or add some foam squares under the bench. Using pillows to make it higher isn’t the best idea because this won’t give stability to the child when he sits.

If your student’s feet can’t be flat on the floor then you should add a footstool or a pedal extender in case the student uses the pedal.

Distance from the keyboard

Once we find the proper height for our student we should explain that they can’t be very close to the keyboard nor very far.

The student must be able to reach for the keys while still keeping bent elbows that are comfortably away from the body.

The piano must not be too close. The best distance to sit is the one that keeps our elbows bended at about 90 degrees.

Sitting up straight but in a relaxed manner up at the front of the bench will give students the best position for playing.

Straight back

Many students feel they can sit with their back bended. This is not a good posture. A good piano posture should have the back straight slightly forward towards the piano.

Relaxed shoulders

Shoulders must be relaxed. A nice way to help students understand what relaxed shoulders are is to ask them to lift their shoulders up to the ears for 3 seconds and then drop them down instantly.

Head position

Head-Before and After

We live in a world where kids spend too much time on a screen and this puts them in a risk of developing bad posture, spondylosis, physical fatigue and other discomforts.

That is why we must tell our students to have a straight back and the head should follow the line of the spine. Attention must be paid to the chin as well which must not be pulling forward.

Well-shaped hand and fingers

As soon as we explain the good body posture to a student, we need to explain and show the good hand and finger posture as well.

Fingers- Before and After

Their fingers should be naturally curved and the thumb should slightly lie on the keyboard.

There are many ways of explaining a nice hand and finger posture. Most piano method books have nice illustrations to show how a well-shaped hand should be.

More before and after piano posture of my students

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