I recently decided to have a practice tip for the month for my students and parents to check out here on my blog. My tips will be about a musical aspect I am emphasizing during each month’s lessons. Hopefully this will help keep everyone informed and excited to learn! :)
During March, I’ve been working with my students to prepare for Certificate of Merit®, a statewide music evaluation program that covers many different facets of musical knowledge, including repertoire, technique, sight reading, theory and aural skills. It was held on March 14th, 2015, at UCSB and went very well this year. Special congratulations to my students, who all passed with flying colors!!! If your student is age 8 or above, there is a good possibility that they would benefit from participation in CM. I will be asking you all in August to see if this opportunity would be helpful to you. You can find more information about it at the official MTAC website.
So, now for the practice tip!
POSTURE: 5 Things To Know
I am going to be emphasizing posture at the piano throughout April. Posture makes a HUGE difference in a pianist’s ease of playing. Here are 5 things to keep in mind:
1. Is the bench high enough? When in the “ready to play” position, a pianist’s elbows should be slightly above the level of the keys.
2. Is the bench far enough from the piano? Generally the best distance is one which allows the elbows to rest slightly in front of the body’s center line when hands are in “ready to play” position on the keyboard, with the hands in front of the elbows (i.e. not in front of the body or at the extremes of the keyboard).
3. Do the feet have enough support? If the student is young, help them make sure the footstool is adjusted correctly. Feet should be able to be firmly planted flat on the ground or footstool surface, thus also supporting the entire body.
4. Are both wrists above the level of the keys? If the wrists are too low it can be nearly impossible to execute difficult passages of music. Adjusting the bench higher often makes the wrists feel easier and more comfortable doing this.
5. Is the student sitting up? This is a great habit to have, especially at the piano! Not only does it look absolutely fantastic, it can help prevent back aches that may occur after sitting at the piano for extended periods of time.
The final goal is to not have a rigid or tense position but rather a free, relaxed and easy posture at the piano. :)