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How should I sit at the piano?

Most of the time, people do not realize how much your sitting position at the piano influences how you play.  If you sit with improper posture, you can have limitations on your flexibility, and speed when playing piano.  Improper positioning postures result in tight shoulders, pain, and quick fatigue.

Here is a guide to how to sit at the piano.

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Make sure that your core is tight

When you sit, it’s very important that you use your core stability to maintain grounding in your body.  What is core stability?  Your core is your gut, belly, back muscles, and belly button area.

Our piano lesson teacher Emilee studied at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music with Dr. Koga.  Dr. Koga’s research in body movement and positioning at the piano examines how stabilizing your core influence piano playing. To read more on Dr. Koga’s research, click here.  

By “tightening the core” area, we are letting the arms, elbows, and neck be more relaxed while playing piano.

How to flex your core at the piano

Pressing your belly button to your spine is one way to feel your abs engaged.  Pretend like you are zipping up tight pants!  Now, let it all go.  You should do this a second time and observe how your arms feel when you exhale.  Your arms should become less tense.

Now, let your stomach expel the air, an you will feel that your shoulders will need to be more tense, in order to controlled movements. When your arms become tense you are trying to use your arms to play music, while also keeping your body from falling over.

Stabilizing your core is essential to let your shoulders, arms, and hands less tense.

How should my feet be positioned at the piano?

When you sit, you should be so engaged in your feet that they could pick you up at any point. You can sit at the end of your chair in order to position yourself as if you were going to stand.  When you naturally position yourself to stand, your core will be engaged to help you get up!  This is why we position ourselves in a way which would allow us to move.

In order to do this, place both feet on the ground under where the knees of your legs sit.  From there, your right foot can move forward and your back foot can move backwards and position itself on the ball of the foot. You should feel like you can stand, bop, or be boyant.  This will tell you that your abs are activated and your arms should be able to flop around pretty loosely!

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