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#3114839 05/07/21 05:04 PM
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I have been playing on a digital piano with its music stand directly in front of the keys (like they normally are) for many years. I never realized it but when sight reading music, I must watch my hands peripherally as well as looking down for hand position changes. The few recent times where I sat at a grand piano with the music so much higher, I have had an unpleasant experience looking up and down over and over. This is especially noticable since I now use bifocal type glasses. I also experience an unsettled feeling even when not looking up and down. Like I am playing blind. It is very disconcerting and causes me to really mess up.

I am not sure if it is too late to correct this years ingrained habit/ mixed with my somewhat newer wearing glasses experience, but I would like to give it a try. It is of course necessary to practice this on my digital piano though. I tried raising the stand but it won't work, and will power isn't cutting it, I just fall back into looking. Does anyone have any suggestions beyond 'just don't look'! :-). When I think of not looking it has to be constant, and then I am not playing musically at all. I also tried covering my arms also with a light cloth but that is too cumbersome.

Thanks

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What I do on almost all my practice sessions is to play some piece (not too complex as my level is still low) with closed eyes. That way, being on the acoustic or the digital, it is just the same. Of course, you should know the piece perfectly to do that. But it helps a lot on feeling and connecting to the keys


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Well I suggest, wearing single grade glasses for this exercise, not bifocals nor progressive lenses.

Tape the lower half or at least the lower 1/3 of your glasses so you won't see you hands. With this you won't have to raise your music stand or cover you hands with clothing. It should looking something like this:

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The easiest is to start playing simple things like scales and simple pieces eyes closed. Another one is to lock your eyes on only one hand. It will take time to get rid of your habit though.

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I have worn glasses all my life. Now that I'm getting older I even need reading-glasses, but the music on the piano is too far away for those. My best help is not to wear glasses at all and I can read easily and watch my hands. It is a specific pianistic problem: the distance from eyes to musicstand is unknown to glasses-manufactors. I have learned myself to play without glasses, big gain: the problem of perspiration droplets at the inside of one's spectacles is solved.


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The glasses are a great idea! I am so excited I am going to prepare some right now. I think the idea of playing something familiar with eyes closed or only looking at one hand is going to be good as far as relaxing the habit of staring at my hands when improvising and memorized pieces. I really need to do that as well. Thanks:-)

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Maybe I’m missing something but what’s the issue with looking at your hands or seeing them with your peripheral? You can look at your hands and music as much as you like or is it cause on other pianos it’s tricky with with glasses?

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I glance at mine all the time, even though I've gotten better at feeling the shape of the keyboard, so can at least do basic arpeggios without looking.

I also wear glasses, and have to use readers to easily read the score. Luckily I'm on a grand so I can adjust the distance of the music desk.

It did, however, take me time to adjust to the grand after I switched from my upright, just b/c the music desk is at a different height, peripheral vision is no longer an option. So I can see, if you have to perform on a grand, but don't have one, how you might want to have a strategy, but I think it would be easier to memorize the piece that must be performed on the grand, than to completely eliminate looking at your hands as I don't feel like it is fully realistic. Though more advanced players might chime in as I am certainly not one.

But, either way, I would get a pair of single vision glasses so that looking up and down doesn't cause the focus to change.

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For those who wear glasses, or need to wear glass to read the score:

I measured the distance from my eyes to the music and took that measurement to my optometrist. I asked for a pair of single vision glasses that would give me optimal vision for between 24 and 30 inches. Glasses made to that specification, results perfect.

No bobbing of head to adjust for double-vision or progressive lenses. One pair of "piano glasses" does the trick for reading the music which is the most important visual aspect of playing from the score.

Regards,


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I do the same thing for piano glasses as I do for computer glasses -- I just step down one magnification level of reading glasses to account for the greater distance. So, for reading books I use 1.75 magnification reading glasses, and for computer/piano, I use 1.5 magnification reading glasses. Someone else told me about this trick and it works perfectly for me.

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Originally Posted by Anna123
The glasses are a great idea! I am so excited I am going to prepare some right now. I think the idea of playing something familiar with eyes closed or only looking at one hand is going to be good as far as relaxing the habit of staring at my hands when improvising and memorized pieces. I really need to do that as well. Thanks:-)

Glad to help!


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Originally Posted by BruceD
For those who wear glasses, or need to wear glass to read the score:

I measured the distance from my eyes to the music and took that measurement to my optometrist. I asked for a pair of single vision glasses that would give me optimal vision for between 24 and 30 inches. Glasses made to that specification, results perfect.

No bobbing of head to adjust for double-vision or progressive lenses. One pair of "piano glasses" does the trick for reading the music which is the most important visual aspect of playing from the score.

Regards,

Measuring it obviously is the most precise way, but just asking for reading glasses corrected for the distance to a computer screen will generally work.


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My optometrist prescribed single focal length lenses specific to the distance to my piano's music desk. I then carefully selected spectacle frames which needed deep lenses (top to bottom) so that if I glanced down I was still looking through the lens. Next if the OP wishes to become more accustomed to playing a grand piano to raise the music desk (perhaps a bespoke design is needed) and then just play from the music and not worry about glancing down at hands or playing with eyes closed but just practice doing it.

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Thanks for the further pointers. As far as memorizing, this isn't for performing, it is only when I am sight reading on a grand as opposed to on my digital.

I did my own version of the glasses with tape but with a headband. It looks ridiculous but it is getting the job done! I started with easier level books and I am improving but we will see. Anything beyond a ninth gets iffy on the first few tries. It's quite a journey, I kind of like the challenge. When I get them nailed it is almost freeing in a way, but then it isn't truly sight reading anymore, yet I am still using the music as the guide. After reading the last post it made me realize I can just stick a music stand behind the piano and raise it as additional practice. The actual doing the thing I need to do-----

I am using my older computer glasses that are 1/2 prescription but they also have readers, which I end up looking through, which I didn't really realize. I am going to get that taken care of, that might be a big step on its own. Hopefully the combo of these things will help my head not feel like a chicken next time I play on a grand.


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