Parents must ensure their child has a good “piano nest” to support their practice. Here’s what’s involved in making sure you have the best set up for yourself or your child…
- Good instrument – Acoustic piano in good condition, or a full digital keyboard with “hammer” action. Contact me for advice on procuring an instrument that will support skill development and enthusiasm.
- Correct playing height/position – This is the most important part of all and is unique to each player. A bad set-up can be a huge stumbling block to growth.
- Make sure the bench is high enough that forearms are parallel to the floor when playing with good hand position (add FIRM pillows, folded towels/blankets, etc, if necessary).
- Make sure feet are flat on the floor and thighs are tilted downward but close to parallel (add a footstool or stack of books under feet, if necessary).
- Knees should be just under the edge of the keyboard when sitting on the front half of the bench. A good test for distance is to sit up tall, then stretch both arms out in front. If the knuckles graze the fallboard of the piano (or line up with the narrow ends of the keys on a keyboard) without bending the arms or leaning backward at all or forward more than a tiny bit, the distance is probably correct. For more information on proper positioning, see WellBalancedPianist.com
- Good lighting – Make sure the area where the music book sits can be seen clearly.
- Supplies – Pencils, erasers, and a safe place to keep books/papers when not playing. Include a pair of ear-covering headphones if using a digital piano.
- Good Location – Choose a spot that is cheerful and easily accessible so that practice and be monitored and shared (not in a distant part of the house or an isolated area), but yet still has enough privacy to allow for concentration and focus.
The right setup at home can not only support piano learning and growth, but make the whole experience more enjoyable and satisfying for everyone!