Posture plays an important role when it comes to playing the piano. If you begin with the wrong posture, not only the tone quality will be affected, you may suffer from injuries.
Let's discuss what are the worst piano posture mistakes.
1. Flat Fingers
The most important posture is the fingers curve on the piano keys. Let me tell you how to identify the right posture of your fingers. Cup your hands on your knees and keep them relaxed. Look at the way in which your fingers naturally curl around your knees, this is exactly the position that you must acquire while playing the keys. So move your hands from your knees without changing the formation of your fingers and bring it to the piano.
Another thing to consider is that you do not end up buckling your fingers so that the end joint of your finger curves in. Instead, the posture of your fingers should be such that the joint curves out. Nicely curved fingers are able to deliver a piece of music in a better way than buckled fingers which may make you sound unnatural.
2. Curve Thumbs
While your fingers curve, your thumbs should remain straight, but loose. When you use your thumbs on the keys, you need to make a slight contact with the key from the edge of your thumb.
3. Bended Back / Raised Shoulder
Your head and your back must be aligned with each other so that your back and shoulders do not end up carrying a lot of weight. This will help you keep your head in the right position. The right alignment of your body will ensure that you do not develop unwanted pains across your back or shoulders as a result of playing the piano.
Most of the students tend to raise their shoulder unconsciously due to the reaction of tension.
4. Dangling Feet
While some students will be able to rest their feet on the floor easily, others require a footrest. At the same time, this prevent the wrist drop below the keyboard. It is ideal for children to use a foot stool on which they can rest their feet for a more comfortable posture.
5. Only Finger's Strength
Your arm’s weight in addition to the strength of your fingers help you play the piano appropriately. If you were to rely on your fingers only, you may be straining them too much.
As the weight of your arm transfers through your fingers to each key that you play, your flow of music begins to sound more natural and you will be able to use your fingers more swiftly across the piano.
6. Wrist Tension
Notice someone who has been playing the piano for years. You will find that their wrist flows up and down like the ebb and flow of a tide. This flexibility of the wrist helps in transferring your arm’s weight to your fingers as you play the piano.
When you play the key, your wrist should gently release when your finger is in contact with the key. Now as you remove your finger from the key, your wrist slightly backs up to form a small hump. You must understand that these motions need to be achieved more naturally than forcing your wrist to rise and fall. The more natural your actions on the key, the easier it is for you to play the piano.
7. Sliding Along The Bench
I have observed many students sliding along the bench as they play the piano particularly when they are playing on higher register or lower register of the keyboard. It is recommended that you sit in one spot and play the piano. If you had to reach a key that is towards one end of the piano, then lean your body towards that side and play the key instead of sliding on the bench. A foot rest can help you stay balanced as you lean across your piano.
Now, check if you're having the worst piano posture and fix it slowly start from today!
Ms Liew Hui Jie
A passionate full time piano teacher in Singapore, with great ideas about how to ensure that students start with learning, playing and finally loving the piano.