The Importance of Relaxation in Playing Music

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Welcome to, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about the importance of relaxation in playing music. Now, this isn’t just about piano. This relates to all instruments. There are so many aspects to this. You hear about relaxation all the time. You’ve probably heard people say you should relax when you play. Of course, you want to avoid injury. It’s bad to do almost anything with tension. But there’s much more to it than that!

If you’re a weak player, sometimes you might contort just to make the notes come out!

If you have spaghetti fingers, like I did as a child, you may be contorting just to get the sound you want. This has to be avoided! It’s very difficult to avoid tension until you develop the fluency and strength to approach the keyboard in an ergonomic manner. It’s also vital to be as relaxed as possible. But it’s even deeper than that.

There are some obvious parallels to other instruments.

If a singer has tension, you can hear it in their voice. It’s a horrible sound! The tension adds ugliness to the tone. This is equally true on wind instruments. Listen to somebody who’s trying to play a trumpet or a clarinet with a closed throat. That tension is going to come through in the tone. The same thing is true for a violinist playing with tension. And it’s the same thing with the piano. That’s the remarkable thing. On the piano you can hear tension! And not just in a beautiful melody. If you play chords or melodies with tension, compared to playing them without tension, you can really hear the difference!

Make sure to play in a relaxed manner.

Whether you are playing a beautiful melody delicately, or big chords with power, you want your playing to be relaxed. You want to feel at one with the instrument. Experiment with your playing! When you sit at the piano, take that extra time to adjust the bench to the right distance from the keyboard. Make sure you’re sitting at the right height. Consciously take a breath and relax before you begin playing. Concentrate on relaxing your neck, shoulders, and arms. Play in a relaxed manner and listen to the difference of the sound. See what you notice in your playing. Let me know how this works for you in the comments here at and on YouTube! Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin here at, Your Online Piano Resource.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Relaxation in Playing Music”


  1. I fully agree with being relaxed while playing. What I didn’t hear in the video was how to relax. Many of us who play in Church, in Recitals, for Choir performances, etc., we still get uptight just through human nature.

    What are some exercises to relax while playing the piano?


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