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  • Writer's pictureClara Sohyun Park

[Piano Technic] How to Improve Posture and Check Points.

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

As a piano teacher, I encountered moments when my students asked the persistent question.

"Why piano chair doesn't have a back?"

Yeah...Why is the chair so firm and why does it lack a cozy backrest? 🤷‍♂
🎼 The design of the piano chair is intentional and serves a crucial purpose in helping us pianists create beautiful melodies.

" Why do we have to sit straight? "

It's not about making students suffer or adhere to arbitrary rules; it's about enabling them to play their best and develop their skills efficiently.
Sitting up straight with feet flat on the floor ensures that a pianist's hands are at the correct height relative to the keys. This ergonomic alignment reduces strain on the wrists and arms, allowing for more fluid and controlled playing. Good posture facilitates proper breathing, which is essential for sustaining phrases and playing with expression. When slouched, breathing becomes shallow, limiting a player's musicality.
Maintaining an upright posture helps distribute body weight evenly across the bench, providing stability. This balance is crucial for executing intricate passages and avoiding fatigue or discomfort.
Straight posture encourages proper finger placement and control. It enables pianists to engage their fingers, rather than relying on arm strength, leading to more delicate and nuanced playing.
Playing the piano with poor posture over time can lead to physical discomfort and even injury. Aches and pains in the back, neck, and shoulders can become a hindrance to progress.

How something as simple as your chair can impact your piano-playing experience? 

Believe it or not, your chair plays a significant role in your piano performance. Finding the optimal height can make a world of difference in your comfort, posture, and overall control while playing.

🪑 Seat Height: Sit at the piano with your feet flat on the ground. Adjust the chair height so that your forearms are parallel to the floor when your fingers rest on the keys.

🪑 Elbow Angle: Make sure your elbows are slightly lower than the keys when your hands are on the keyboard. This helps maintain a relaxed and fluid playing posture.

🪑 Distance: Ensure there's a comfortable distance between you and the piano. You should be able to reach the keys easily without straining.

🪑 Experiment and Adapt: Don't be afraid to experiment with different chair heights to find what feels best for you. Your unique body proportions and playing style may require slight adjustments.

That firmness you feel? It's actually a clever way to facilitate energy transfer.
When you're playing those intricate passages or powerful chords, the solid seat allows you to channel your body's energy directly into the instrument, resulting in a richer and more resonant sound.
Playing the piano is not just about your fingers; it's about feeling the music in your entire body. The connection to the instrument becomes more profound when you can sense the vibrations through the chair, creating a unique sensory experience.

Let's be honest, a super cushy chair might lead to a comfy nap instead of focused practice! 😴
The slightly less comfortable seat keeps us alert and engaged, helping us stay in the zone and truly immerse ourselves in the music.

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