Playing piano comfortably, with the right posture, is necessary for your health, for your skill development and quality of playing, and for your image as an instrumental performer. Let’s talk about the key elements to attaining good piano posture.
1. ADJUST YOUR PIANO BENCH
The goal is to achieve “The Golden Middle” . The piano bench should not be too low or too high — forearms should lie at a level parallel to the keyboard with your elbows just slightly higher than the keys. Do not sit too far or too close — you’ll want to be able to reach the keyboard at a comfortable distance. Avoid leaning back too far or sitting so close that your elbows are pointing backwards.
2. KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT
This will allow you to play well and develop your piano skills without affecting your health. Remember, playing piano is a performance art; it is important to play with poise, image, and grace — nobody likes to see a pianist who is slouching or looking uncomfortable.
3. STABLE LEGS & FEET
Keep the feet flat on the floor (if possible) and under the knee creating an angle, with your legs, just slightly larger than 90 degrees. The right foot may be slightly forward if you are right handed and vice versa. Do not cross legs or ankles, as that will diminish your stability while sitting on the bench. For young children, that are not tall enough to have their feet touch the floor, a foot stool placed near the bench will provide them with the stability they need.
4. SHOULDERS, ARMS, WRISTS, & FINGERS
Keep the shoulders down; they must never be raised or tense. Elbows should be at a flexible and slight distance from our body.
When playing piano, keep wrists up and fingers curved — hands should resemble the shape of a dome. A quick and easy way to check this, is to put your hands on your knees when sitting, and then lift them up to the keyboard while maintaining that natural round shape. Make sure the wrists are not collapsed and dropping down (forming a “valley”) or held up uncomfortably high (forming a “mountain”). Flexible and relaxed wrists allow the limbs to “breathe” when playing piano, and are essential to achieving a beautiful and deep piano sound. Fingers should be rounded but not so much that your hand forms a claw. Aim to have stability and strength in your fingers while avoiding tension.
5. A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
A positive attitude is really the key here! It is not easy to do all the above at once, especially if you are a beginner. Proper form must be developed and strengthened through time and repetition, and eventually it will come naturally and easily. Be persistent and remember to keep mental reminders with these five steps, and you will be on your way to mastering good piano posture.