Piano playing is a deeply satisfying artistic activity, but it can also be very demanding physically on our arms and hands. Just as elite athletes understand and care for their bodies, so should pianists think carefully about their approach to playing and practising. A healthy piano technique not only avoids injury – it also helps to achieve greater freedom of expression, a more beautiful sound and quicker progress.

With the number of piano-related injuries on the rise and as a response to this growing problem, we have worked with leading expert in pianist injuries, Penelope Roskell to publish a new guide to preventing and recovering from injury for pianists and teachers. Combined with Penelope’s existing resources on Yoga, warm-ups and posture, the guide offers detailed information on each of the most common playing-related injuries with numerous video demonstrations of practical remedial exercises to aid recovery and prevent relapse.

Example video demonstrating an exercise from the Roskell Warm-up Sequence called “Empty Sleeves” (click here to view the full collection of articles and videos on the Online Academy)

The information contained within this guide is based on Penelope’s many years of experience in working with pianists with injuries. Although it will be useful to any pianist, it is especially beneficial for those experiencing fatigue, tension or pain and piano teachers who want to know more about helping their students keep healthy. The guide covers the following topics:

  • Healthy playing – Develop a healthy technique (and wise practise) methods for greater freedom of expression, improved sound quality and quicker progress
    • General advice on healthy and wise practising
    • Whole-body approach and sitting posture
    • Warm-up sequence
  • Preventing and recovering from injury – Learn how to look after your arms and hands to avoid problems in future and general advice on recovering from injury
  • Common pianist injuries
    • How to identify common injuries like RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and tenosynovitis
    • General tips and practical remedial exercises for recovery
    • Technical retraining to prevent a relapse, including unique concepts and approaches such as the parachute touch, soft wrist, the splay and the singing finger touch
Example video demonstrating healthy alignment to avoid twisting of the wrist (click here to view the full collection of articles and videos on the Online Academy)

The Healthy Piano Playing guide is available for once-off purchase from our store here for £9.99 or with an Online Academy subscription. Please click here to find out more about the Online Academy or click here to subscribe (click here to view the guide if you already have a subscription).

Further reading & resources

  • Healthy Piano Playing Click here to view on the Online Academy.
  • The Art of Piano Fingering Click here to purchase as an eBook from our store or click here to view on the Online Academy.
  • Yoga for MusiciansClick here to purchase as a stand-alone online product from our store or click here to view on the Online Academy.
  • The Complete Pianist: from healthy technique to natural artistry – Penelope’s latest book will be available from 20th February 2020. Click here to sign-up to her mailing list for updates and purchase details.