Under the C Discoveries: Technique

Published: Sep 1, 2014  |   Category: Uncategorized

What is technique, and why is it important?  Just as a basketball player practices specific skills to become a better player, a pianist practices certain skills to become a better pianist.   Piano technique can be summarized as the way you use your body to play the piano.  Good technique is essential in order to play more difficult music, produce a beautiful sound, prevent injuries or pain, and to create artistry at the piano (or create expressive music that people will enjoy listening to).  

The first element of good technique is your position at the piano.  That is what we will focus on right now.  We have talked about this in lessons, but my goal is that each of my students will incorporate a good position into their daily practice routine from here onward. 

Bench Distance:  The bench should be far enough away from the piano so that when you sit on the front half on the bench, sitting up straight, putting your arms straight out in front of you, your fists should touch the fall board (remember the Karate Pose?).   When hands are on the keys, elbows should be a few inches in front of the side seam of your shirt.

Posture:  Sit up nice and straight as if a string is pulling you from the ceiling. This is essential to a good hand position, which we will talk about later.

Bench Height:  The height should be high enough that your elbows are at about the same height as the keys.  If you do not have an adjustable bench, you can use foam flooring squares.  Practicing consistently with a proper bench height will help prevent bad habits such as sagging wrists.

Parents - Please check in with your child to be sure they are in the correct position, and take photos of their practice and send them to me!  Students - you  never know when your parent will take a picture, so plan to be in a good position every day!

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