Friday, August 9, 2013

"I practice with my keyboard on the floor" and other wacky configurations!

Yes, this is an actual quote from one of my students this morning...which brings up an important issue.  This is not ok!  The student in question then continues..."and I sit criss-cross applesauce while I practice."  Oh, dear!  I didn't think I really needed to address this.  Surely they know better than to practice in a manner that produces poor technique and slouchy posture.  Surely they are all sitting on piano benches while practicing.  But I should never assume anything.  So today I offer you a token of wisdom on "practice configurations."

What is the right practice configuration? 
  • Proper Seating!  Sit on a piano bench, or at a minimum, a creaky chair patched with duct tape like the one American pianist Glenn Gould would drag around from venue to recording studio (actually, I hope you don't do this.  Glenn was a tad eccentric.).
  • It's all about arm angle!!!  When the keyboard is at the proper height in relation to your seating, your arms will form a right angle (90 degrees) at the elbow when your hands are outstretched, shoulders relaxed, elbows hanging loosely by your sides, ready to play.  If your arm angle is less than 90 degrees, your keyboard stand is too high in relation to your seating.  If your arm angle is greater than 90 degrees, your keyboard stand is too low in relation to your seating.  Keyboard stands are usually adjustable -- just move to a different set of holes.  Some benches are adjustable.  Do what you need to do to get the right arm angle!  It's important!
  • Kitchen tables are for food, and floors are for feet!  Please don't practice with your keyboard on the kitchen table.  And the floor is just bad.  Bad.  Bad.  There are stands made for just about every kind of keyboard and you can find one just for your keyboard on Google.  If you haven't bought your keyboard yet, do make sure you purchase a piano with a stand.
I hope that helps all of you parents wondering if the keyboard-on-the-floor thing is ok.  It's not.  It will, indeed, sabotage all your piano teacher's efforts to instill good technique into your child's piano-playing.  

I do in-home consultations to evaluate your practice set-up and the mechanical fitness of your instrument.  I also go to student homes and install notation and recording software for students, getting your keyboard and computer to talk to each other so you can be an artist!  Click the link below to schedule your instrument assessment or technology installation now!
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