Look, feel, and play your best with correct piano posture! Use this handy sign to remind yourself of the basics of good posture every time you play.
What is Piano Posture?
In the same way that using good posture when you stand helps your body feel comfortable, confident, and strong, good piano posture leads to better, healthier piano playing. A good piano posture gives you more freedom and energy to create great music. It’s simply the best way to position your body and use your arms and hands when you’re playing the piano.
When Should You Start Using Good Piano Posture?
The best time to start is now! If you want to learn the piano, the first thing you need to do is learn the correct way to use your hands, arms, and body as you play. Without good posture from the start, you can develop bad habits that will be hard to break. This will slow your progress and keep you from being able to play your best.
It can take lots and lots of reminders to learn good piano posture, but once those correct habits are in place, you’ll always be able to play your best. To help remind you of what you need to do, we’ve created a helpful sign that you can print out and place on your piano. Be sure to check it every day before you play!
Piano Posture Basics
- Bench Position
When seated at the piano, it’s important for your piano bench to be at the correct height. This is the height that allows your forearm to be parallel with the floor when you rest your fingers on the keyboard. If you don’t have an adjustable piano bench, a cushion or a large book set on top of the bench can help. It’s also important to have your feet resting on something solid at the correct height for your knees to be comfortably bent at a right angle. Young children will need a foot stool, a crate, or even a stack of books to help them feel secure and stable at the bench.
- Tall Back
Slouching forward at the piano may seem easier, but it actually takes more energy and puts more stress on your body to keep it in a slouched position than it does to sit up straight! When you’re getting ready to play the piano, align your head and your spine so that your bone structure, not your muscles, are doing the work of supporting your body. Your shoulders should be comfortably relaxed, not scrunched forward, pulled too far back, or up high and tight. With a balanced, upright body position, you’ll have more energy for playing music and you’ll avoid getting tired, strained muscles in your neck and back.
- Arm Weight
When you play the piano, you want to use the weight of your whole arm to play the keys, not just the tiny muscles that control your fingers. On the other hand, you don’t want to force your arm downward. Let gravity do the work! A good way to practice this is to sit back from the keyboard and hold your arms in front of you as if you were going to play. Now relax your arms and let them drop into your lap. Feel the weight pulling them down? That’s the feeling you want when you press down on a piano key. Now move close to the keyboard and try it. Be sure to keep your wrist flexible. It should drop down a little as your arm lowers, then lift as you raise your arm to get ready to play the next note.
- Finger Shape
When you play the piano, keep your fingers in a relaxed, curved shape. To find the right shape, simply stand up and let your hands hang loose at your sides. Your fingers will naturally form the correct shape. Now, without changing the position of your fingers, place your hand on the piano. Notice how each finger curves in a nice round shape as if you’re gently holding a ball. Your thumb is straight, and the side of it touches the piano key. When you play a key, be sure to keep the curve of your finger bending out. Don’t let it buckle in. Also, remember to keep your wrist level but flexible so that it can move up and down with your arm.
When you follow these four basics of good piano posture, you’ll enjoy the benefits of being more comfortable at the piano and of getting the best sound for the least amount of effort. Always using good posture will help you learn faster too!
Ready to build proper piano posture habits? Download this printable sign and place it on your piano so that you’ll always remember how to look, feel, and play your best.