How to Sit Properly on the Piano
Body posture is the first and foremost thing to keep in mind when playing the piano, and unfortunately, it often goes completely unnoticed.
Since we will spend many hours playing the piano, it is vital to have a correct position. Poor posture can range from short-term muscle aches to more long-term severe muscle and joint problems.
Placement on the Bench
- The ideal is an adjustable bench, placed in the center of the keyboard.
- We sit in the front, leaving little more than half of the seat space free so that we are stable.
- The feet, which distribute all the weight, should always be resting on the ground, slightly apart.
Body Position on the Piano
- We sit, with the spine upright but relaxed, without forcing it—fully relaxed shoulders and elbows.
- We support the hand on the keyboard, creating a 90º angle on the arm and forearm, making sure that the elbow is at the height of the white keys. If the elbow is above the height of the keys, the chair would be too high. On the contrary, if the elbow is below the keys height, that would mean the chair is too low.
- The wrist (which is directly related to the elbow position) should be always relaxed and aligned with the forearm and knuckles, parallel to the keyboard.
- The fingers will curl slightly, making the hand naturally rounded. It is at the tip of the fingers, where we will bear all the weight of the back, shoulders and arms.
Other Aspects to Consider
We must be aware that we will not rigidly play the piano. When, for example, we have low notes, we will incline our body towards the low part. Therefore we must be relaxed and well supported.
When we pedal, sometimes it is advisable to move away from the keyboard a little, and support the weight well on the left leg. In this way, playing the pedal will be more comfortable.
If at any time there is any joint or muscle discomfort, you should immediately stop touching and resting.
We should check from time to time, in practice time, that the elbows and shoulders are relaxed, as it is easy to tighten them without realizing it.
It is essential to pay attention to everything said above, especially at the beginning of the learning process (and more so in children), since it is effortless to catch bad habits, and later very difficult to remove them.
Body posture is essential, both on the piano and on any other instrument, and something that both advanced and beginners piano players should always take into account.