Proper Posture For Piano Lessons

Having proper posture when playing the piano will determine whether you have a productive performance or an exhausting one. If you’ve watched great piano players, you’ll notice that they tend to have a similar position when they play. This is not a coincidence. There are four positions that you should place yourself in before playing your first note and we’ll go through each one in this article.

Proper Posture Check Item #1 – C Position


Proper Posture - Middle C Key

Proper Posture – Middle C Key

In my post entitled Understanding The Piano Keyboard For Your Piano Lessons, I discussed that middle C is the center of a piano and it’s important that you seat yourself directly in front of it in order to get the full reach of the 88 keys in front of you. Before you get comfortable on your bench or chair, make certain you’re aligned with the middle C key by adjusting your seat squarely in front of your piano and sitting down in front of the key.

Proper Posture Check Item #2 – Sitting Position


Proper Posture - Straight Back

Proper Posture – Straight Back

As a child, your mom or school teacher probably told you to always “sit up straight”. When it comes to learning how to play the piano, it’s important to have a straight back to play more effectively. You will need to lean slightly into the piano keyboard as you begin to play longer pieces of music but remember to not hunch your back or shoulders. Being in a comfortable position helps you play better.

Proper Posture Check Item #3 – Feet Position

Proper Posture - Foot Position

Proper Posture – Foot Position

Your fingers aren’t the only parts of your body that will make music come out of your piano. If you’re using a piano or an electric piano, at the base of it will be three pedals. The pedal on the right is the most commonly used pedal called sustain, which will make the sound of a key that’s been pressed sustain or last longer.

With your back in its proper position, make sure your feet are flat on the floor with your right foot slightly ahead of your left, ready to step on the sustain pedal if necessary.


Proper Posture Check Item #4 – Hand Positions

Proper Posture - Hand Positions

Proper Posture – Hand Positions

The last check item to put in place, hand positions, has two parts. The first deals with your fingernails. Pianists have very short fingernails and I remember one of my piano teachers constantly telling me to cut my nails, which irritated me some because I had them as low as possible but he could still hear them as I played. Keeping your nails short is important so your audience won’t have their musical experience interrupted by the sound of nails tapping throughout the piece.

The second task at hand (yeah, it was intended), is to have your fingers in a curved position with the very tips touching the keys. Curving your fingers into an almost ball-like position, will place them close to both black and white keys in your performance and prevent your nails from touching them. This will give you the reach needed to play the finger exercises you’ll be learning for your lessons.



Proper posture while taking your piano lessons will make the time you spend practicing and playing more productive. You’ll position yourself to play better and have an easier time learning your notes.

What other items would you want to check off on your list before playing the piano? Leave your comment below.

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