Alternatively Sized Piano Keyboards

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Overall comfort and enjoyment

Pianists using a keyboard with narrower keys find greatly increased comfort overall and far greater enjoyment as a result.  These benefits are discussed in more detail in other pages under Pianist Feedback. These benefits include:

  • far greater technical ease,
  • reduced stretching, tension and pain,
  • reduced need to focus on technical issues and ability to focus on the music,
  • far greater power when needed and improved control of dynamic range,
  • reduced anxiety about the possibility of ‘coming to grief’,
  • the expanded repertoire available,
  • faster learning and better results with less practice.

All of these improvements contribute to a dramatic increase in a pianist’s enjoyment. Greater comfort and technical facility, plus reduced risk of mistakes or injury are linked to the improved quality of a performance, leading to greater ease and confidence.

‘You need to allow yourself at least a couple of days with a DS keyboard to begin the journey of discovery of exactly what it is that you have been missing, and the unnecessary obstacles you have been facing all of your life. Trust me when I tell you that it is lot more profound that merely “stretching” a distance between any 2 digits.’….email from Christopher Donison to Rhonda Boyle, 31 Dec 2006.

From one of the pianists in the survey by Boyle (2012): ‘Everything improved for me; it is so much fun to practice.’

Although the majority of pianists do not become professional concert pianists for a variety of reasons, why should so many be unnecessarily excluded from playing certain repertoire solely on the basis of hand size? As Australian pianist Erica Booker says: 

‘In my youth, I wanted to play a Rach concerto and my teacher said to me: ‘Ingrid Haebler wouldn’t dare!’ implying, to my angst, that I was destined to be one of the Baroque/Classical pianists who never touched a Romantic work!’

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