Why is Posture so Important?
Posture is important for so many reasons - not only because it is good for your back and then makes the sound better. But how do you FIND the proper posture?
Joseph Hoffman from the Hoffman Academy came up with a great checklist for students and parents.
- figure out the right finger shape that is right for you - put your hand on your bent knee and that’s how your hand naturally curves- take it and put it on the piano like that and you’ll be off to a great start!
- check your thumbs - keep them straight but the tip of the thumb should be touching the keys - not the whole thumb.
- Find where your head should be sitting on your shoulders by gently putting your fingers into your ear and nodding your head up ad down like you’re saying yes - it will help you find where your head sits on your shoulders properly over your hips.
- Check your feet - are they dangling? If so use a foot stool to keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Watch your finger joints - they should curve out and not in. Try to strengthen your fingers curve them like you would be playing the piano and put them on a flat surface like a table. Use your number 2 finger and put gentle pressure on the finger until the joint goes inward slightly and then do it again keeping your fingers curved so the joint moves out. Do it with all of your fingers except your thumb. Don’t do it too much and be gentle - these are hard exercises.
- Use your whole arm to play notes on the piano instead of your fingers! Push the piano bench back and hold your arm up and then let it drop into your lap. Do this with both arms. Then do it at the piano and play each note of a C 5 finger scale like this - feel each note!
- Check out your wrist - with your hand in the your hand position. Let your wrist drop down and lift up. Do this with your fingers on the keys.
- Watch your arm and make sure that your writs, pinky finger and elbow are all in a straight line.
- Pinky Finger flatness- don’t cheat and hold it flat on the key - instead have a short curve to it and play on the tip.
- Remember to lean where you need to play and try to not slide around the bench. (Lang Lang does this super well)