There is a proper form in lifting weights, in shooting a basketball, in running, and swimming, for maximum efficiency. And guess what, it's the same for how we sit at the piano. While we aren't getting ready to lift the piano, we are still dealing with an instrument many times our weight and size. So here are 5 tips to help you find the best sitting position at the piano to maximize efficiency and minimize fatigue--very important since I require my students to practice 6 hours a day. Just kidding.
One important thing to keep in mind before starting. A person's height is not the determining factor of how high the bench should be. Everybody is proportioned differently; torso length, arm length, and leg length all contribute to the final sitting position.
1. Starting from the bottom up, feet flat on the ground. Not underneath the bench and not stretched out front. Foot stools can be added for children who's feet can't reach the ground.
2. Butt sitting on the front half of the bench, not at the very edge and not all the way back. Sitting on the front half of the bench is important because it allows for the freest movement from our hip joint, allowing the pianist to lean forward and backward with ease.
3. The proper bench height is one where your forearms, wrists, and hands are all parallel to the ground when your hands are placed on the keyboard with good hand and wrist position. (Make sure your shoulders stay relaxed during this adjustment, students often tense up or drop their shoulders to compensate for improper bench height.)
4. The bench should be at a distance where your elbows are slightly in front of your body with your hands on the keyboard. If you can't reach the keyboard....you are sitting too far away.
5. Lastly, sit up straight! Not only is this better for your back and shoulders, it also demonstrates confidence. Think regal.
Got any other tips for finding the perfect sitting position? Prefer to sit a different way? Leave a comment below!
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