1. Relax And Remember To Breathe!
Stress can create tense playing, as can physical muscular tension.
If you are not in a relaxed state, take 3 deep breaths and feel any tension release from your body before starting.
2. Adjust Chair Height And Distance From The Piano
If your piano bench is adjustable, adjust the height so that it is comfortable for you.
Your feet should rest flat on the floor.
For small children, a foot stool or books can be used so that their legs are supported and not left swinging in the air.
If the bench is not adjustable, a suggestion is to place books on the floor or on the chair depending on your (or your child’s) needs (or use a better chair or bench if available).
3. Straight Back, Relaxed Shoulders, Elbows and Wrists
The back should be straight and shoulders relaxed. Some players tend to tense and lift their shoulders up as they play.
Comfortable playing involves neutral shoulders, relaxed elbows, arms and flexible wrists.
Playing with arm weight (using gravity) instead of using fingers alone can reduce tension in playing.
Also having flexible wrists is important to avoid injuries and to create more control and depth of sounds while playing in a relaxed way.
Any sort of tensing up of muscles (anywhere in the body) will not only contribute to strains but also be reflected in the music as harsh or awkward sounds.
As a piano player, listening skills is vital and being mindful of how your music sounds is important as you develop as a musician.
Persisting with incorrect technique can contribute to pain and injuries.
At any stage if you become aware of any discomfort while playing, please stop, review why this may be happening and try to return to the basics of relaxed playing.
4. Curved Hand Position
Hand position should be curved in a relaxed way on the piano (as if holding onto an apple).
This dome position should be maintained while playing. Relaxed piano playing should involve least effort and energy. Awkward hand movements need to be corrected so they don’t turn into injuries and to create smoother action.
5. Have Fun!!
Playing the piano is complex with many components to consider.
t is an enjoyable and satisfying art form and when you have a comfortable posture and movements, it can make the learning process smoother.
Enjoy your piano practice!
Sunny Cho (Piano Teacher)