Proper Piano-Playing Posture
Developing and maintaining proper piano posture is a must, despite how tempting it is to slouch casually in front of the keys. Remain conscious of your piano-playing posture until it becomes second-nature – sitting correctly at the piano can enhance your playing experience by reducing aches and strains, and help you:
- Better execute dynamics by having greater control over joints
- Transition smoothly across large intervals with greater flexibility
- Control stage nerves: Aim to make a position comfortable and habitual; that familiarity can give you a boost of confidence on stage and encourage muscle memory.
Bad Posture at the Piano
Bad posture at the keys can take its toll on both your playing and your health. Poor circulation puts a dent in your stamina and flexibility; and the discouraging aches and pains resulting from bad piano posture could become serious afflictions. As easy as it is to get lost in the music, if you play piano for long periods, take breaks to hydrate and stretch, at least once every two hours.
- Aches to Expect
You’ll experience a period of adjustment in which your posture may feel unnatural and forced, which may cause some muscle pain in the following places:
- Between the shoulders
- Back of the neck
- Upper arms
- Lower back
- Calf and ankle muscles (for the pedalers out there)
- … And even fatigue in the finger muscles!
For those who play at least three times a week, these annoyances are usually gone by the end of the first properly-postured month.
- Pains to Watch Out For
You should not experience joint stiffness, tingling or numbing in the extremities, or any consistent or worsening pains. Chris Adams, our Guide to ergonomics, has some great advice for preventing these issues: