Playing piano is not only a skill, but it is a form of discipline that carries over into other facets of your life. The motivation and discipline that it takes to practice regularly in order to become better at something will have profound effects that ripple across your life, making you a more motivated and disciplined person in general. It all starts with how you carry yourself and your posture when you are playing the piano.
“Sit up straight, young man!”
Ah, yes…the motherly anthem. I remember being reminded to sit up straight whenever my mom had the chance. Even though I have been on my own for quite some time now, I still catch myself slouching and tell myself to sit (or stand) up straight.
It helps me feel taller, more respectable and most importantly, preventing a hump on my back in 50 years! The same goes for when I play the piano (Except I can’t say I’m too concerned with having a hump in my 70’s when I am playing piano); I want to feel as respectable and professional as possible when I seat myself at a piano that’s worth more than my car. It is a way of showing respect for the beautiful art form that is music. It’s a way of showing respect to the brilliant composers whose passion is to make this instrument sing.
It is a way to show respect for YOU.
Not to mention that your arms are easier to move and can better translate your ideas into motion in your hands. Sitting up straight will help you play better.
So whenever you sit down to practice, even when it is at your little digital piano in the living room, pay the piano, the music and yourself the respect they deserve and sit up straight. Your hump free back will thank you in a few years!
Proper Arm Positioning
Not only is sitting up straight important, so is the position of your wrists and arms. When you are sitting at a piano or keyboard, you will need to adjust either the seat height or the keyboard height so that when sitting up straight with your hands on the keyboard, you elbows should form a 90 degree angle and your forearms should be about level with the keys.
This allows you to keep your wrist straight and relaxed, optimizing how your fingers will strike the keys. This will inevitably give you more control and strength when it comes to playing the piano.
The reason your wrists need to relax is because it allows the tendons that control your fingers to be free from any extra tension, making your fingers more responsive to the commands your brain is sending them.