It’s now been four months since Andrea and I (like you) have been “locked down”.
We’ve been doing pretty well… apart from running out of shows to watch on Netflix.
Which is probably why we ended up watching Jurassic Park last night. And I’m not talking about the more recent films… I’m talking about the original.
Jurassic Park is not really our cup of tea but watching it was worthwhile in the end. Because as we watched the velociraptors rip at our screen we were, believe it or not, reminded of piano students.
With their tiny little arms, velociraptors look like piano students who are sitting way too close to the keys or way too far down from the keys.
I know that you probably spend a lot of lesson time correcting piano posture but at home, many kids are playing with “dinosaur” arms.
The comparison is light-hearted but, in reality, this is a technical issue that can slow your students’ development tremendously.
And your parents need to know about it.
So, we’ve written an email for your piano families to encourage them to be constantly monitoring their kids for proper piano posture.
Fix Posture Problems And Power Up Progress
When piano students struggle, we sometimes assume it is because of some big problem related to their coordination or learning differences or motivation.
But often eliminating a little problem makes all the difference.
Anyone who has struggled to fall asleep because of a buzzing mosquito knows that you don’t need sleep therapy or medication to solve the issue… you simply need a rolled-up magazine and good aim.
Piano posture is one of those “little” issues that (when fixed) has big results.
But it can’t be fixed in your studio. In needs to be fixed at home where kids spend most of their time, likely sitting on a piano bench that is too close or too low.
To remedy this problem, copy the email below, add your own details and information and send it to your piano families.
But before you do… check out our WunderKeys 2020 Piano Book Guide. With the start of another year of lessons, you’ll want to make sure you’re using method books composed for today’s kids.
Piano Posture Email For Parents
Hi Susan and Brian,
Kalli has been an absolute delight to teach online this spring. I’m continually impressed by how quickly she is mastering new concepts and how easily she has adapted to our new lesson format.
Now that we’ve settled into our online routines, I wanted to give you some information to help with Kalli’s posture at the piano. In any activity (sports, dance, gymnastics, etc.) positioning is very important. It makes a difference in how successful kids are in their activities.
When playing the piano, positioning is particularly important. Often children need some help to find the correct way to sit at the piano while they practice at home.
Kalli will find it so much easier to complete her home practice if she has a physical set up that gives her a comfortable posture at the piano. It will make the techniques we have been working on so much easier for her.
This week, could you find 10 minutes to sit with Kalli at her piano or keyboard to complete the following checklist?
1. Bench height: The height of Kallie’s piano bench should be adjusted so that when her hands are on the keys her forearms are parallel to the floor. Her wrists should not be below the keyboard, but she should also not be too high. This will allow for comfortable arm and hand movement.
The easiest way to correct the height of her bench is by adding some foam squares under the legs until it is raised to the correct height. Add squares until her arms are in a straight line from the back of her hands to her elbows. This line should then be parallel to the floor.
Having her sit on books or other “props” on the bench can be uncomfortable, so I like to suggest you add the needed height under the legs. Foam squares are easy to find at any “big box” store.
2. Bench distance: When at the bench, Kalli should be sitting so that she has to reach for the keys while still keeping bent elbows that are comfortably away from her body. The piano must not be too close. Help her find a distance that is comfortable, and then make a small mark on your floor with tape so that she can find the same spot with the bench each time she practices.
3. Dangling feet: If Kalli’s legs are not long enough to comfortably rest with her flat feet on the floor, a small step stool should be placed under her feet so that her legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Having a solid base for her feet will help her maintain the correct height and distance from the piano.
You may find that these three points are difficult to achieve if Kalli is using a keyboard that doesn’t have a keyboard stand. Resting a keyboard on a desk or table can make it really tricky to find the correct seating arrangement. If this is the case, please contact me and I can help you locate an inexpensive stand that can make all the difference in the world.
Thank you for your help – I know Kalli will find her practice to be much more productive and I look forward to seeing her professional piano posture in our next online lesson!