By Andrew White
I often hear my piano students and AWSOM families talk about the new piano they are looking at buying. It’s an exciting process of bringing into your home a musical instrument that not only looks amazing but sounds amazing! What I don’t hear so much is talk of the piano bench. Nobody ever says, “Andrew! We went and saw the most amazing piano bench this weekend!!” One of the biggest keys to learning the piano is in the bench, and I’m going to reveal to you why…
As we sit and learn the piano sometimes for hours on end, we need the blood to be pumping around our body, especially to our hands. If we’ve got a piano bench that is too low we’re expecting our heart to push our blood up the incline in our arms to our fast moving hands! Similarly if we have a piano bench that’s too high, and we don’t have a footstool or some books to rest the little feet on, we can cut off blood to our legs. All of this is quite a painful experience when you’ve still got another 20 minutes of practice to do and can make kids quite lethargic during their practice time.
So what to do about it?
Find yourself an adjustable bench AND USE THE ADJUSTABLE PART! Kids grow fast, and I’m often adjusting benches as they go through their growth spurts. A properly adjusted piano bench will keep you or your child’s arms at a good right angle. If you can’t reach the floor, I highly recommend this bench from Amazon. It works wonders and allows kids to still use the pedals - something they look forward to from day one! If you already have a bench that you want to keep but isn't adjustable, have your kids sit on a cushion, or get creative with an ingenious method!
So jump to it! Find that piano bench, measure it up so your arms are at a right angle playing, if you have small and tall both playing in your house, find a happy medium. But don’t hang around! It allows you to practice for longer without feeling like your arms are worn out.
Give it a go and let us know if it helps!