I've seen it all. Kids who are so hyperactive that they chew the
furniture, play piano with only their left thumbs, sit cross-legged on
the piano bench, if they sit at all.
there are very specific postures and positions that professionals take
to play the piano. There are even times when a concert artist must
know when to move to one side, sometimes by only an inch or two, to be
in the best position for an upcoming passage.
this is irrelevant to a six year old.
like putting a child in a go-kart and them asking them if they'd
rather have a lecture on the automotive industry for an hour before
they drive. All they want to do is push on that gas pedal.
point is that a child has to see the reward before they attempt to
child to concentrate on posture at the piano is equivalent to asking
them to choose the automotive lecture instead of the go-kart drive.
That is not a child's nature.
goes for piano hand position, and finger position as well. You would
do better to make these issues into physical games first, so they get
the feel of the motions, before it becomes complicated with musical
take posture first. Let me preface this by saying that the most
important posture of all at the piano is to simply be in front of one.
Without that initial posture, achieved either through desire or force,
nothing can ever be learned at the piano.
quickest way to get child to sit correctly at the piano, aside from
them wanting to be there, is to ask them to use the pedals. For the
youngest children, they may end up standing, but for the average six
year old, putting a foot on the pedal requires them to sit squarely in
the correct position.
never had to make a serious comment about a child's posture. Posture
is really only important if the child ever becomes seriously
interested, like an athlete, and must be inducted into the various
mysteries and minutiae of playing the piano. Posture is never a
problem, and if it is, be gentle and make a joke about their sloppy
posture. Imitate it, extremely, then laugh and show them how it is
correctly done. They either take the bait or not.
had parents who insist on a small box or stool being put at the tiny
child's feet so that they reach a floor, simulated by the box.
I've actually taught such a child over the years, until they grew
enough to not need the box. The only result was they clumsily tried to
incorporate the box into their routine when they were clearly too big
for it. The point is that the box or similar devices are useless.
experience bears out some weird stories of extreme piano posture child
a story that may illuminate you on the history of the foolish fad of
I know a
violinist, now a member of a major American symphony orchestra, whose
piano teacher, when he was a child, forced him to wear a wooden yoke
around his neck to prevent his looking at the keys. Needless to say,
he hated the piano for about four decades, until finally, in the last
few years, he got over it and started playing the piano again.
isn't child abuse for the sake of piano posture, then what is?
child ever gets good enough to care about posture about the piano,
they will correct it themselves. It is impossible to play at the
highest level in anything but a comfortable posture.
forget a posture lesson from a great pianist:
Gould sat on a tiny folding chair with the legs sawed off, leaving his
chin almost level with the keys!
first then worry about posture.
hate playing the piano, sitting the correct way will do nothing.
Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved
HAND POSITION GAMES
CAN ONLY ENJOY PIANO MY WAY
A PIANO GAME KIDS LOVE