Petition to manufacturers
PASK launched a PETITION to piano manufacturers in December 2015: NEED PIANO KEYBOARDS THAT FIT OUR HANDS. Please sign this petition and forward to as many of your friends and contacts as possible via email and social media. Include groups or organisations of piano teachers and piano technicians, as well as pianists and their parents. Even if you are not a pianist yourself, you will be helping many others around the world who love the piano and want this revolution to come soon. We need to tell the manufacturers that there is a huge potential market for these keyboards!’
The link is below – please sign and help us to get well over 2000 signatures!
Comments from signers
Listed below is a sample of signers’ comments. For the complete list of comments, view this document: https://paskpiano.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Petition-comments-only_June-2023.pdf
I believe millions of children and adults would love to have the choice of new standard keyboard sizes to make playing the piano more enjoyable and comfortable.
The current standard sized piano keyboard is too big for most women, about a quarter of men and all kids! I urge manufacturers to look at their clientele and provide alternatives to the one large ( 6.5 inch octave ). MOST people fit more easily on the 6.0 inch octave keyboard and adjustment is minimal!
Have mercy on small hands!!!
Besides artistic considerations, I would add that it also makes GOOD BUSINESS SENSE to provide smaller keyboards, not only for the many, many young students across the globe, but for those who grow up and still have small hands. If string players can have smaller instruments, why can’t pianists?
My hands are arthritic as I grow older and octaves are harder to reach.
I have been teaching close to 50 years. Seeing talented pianists with smaller hands struggling to manage an octave is a shame. Please consider offering 3 standard sizes for for pianists. We cannot change our hand size, but we have technology where we can accommodate different hand sizes.
As a pianist with a Masters degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy I have both witnessed the benefit that an ergonomically sized keyboard has on my students as well as experiencing first-hand what an ergonomically scaled keyboard did for my own playing. I have suffered nerve damage, carpal tunnel, and loss of confidence due to the fact that I can only reach on octave on a conventionally sized keyboard. I have worked hard and compensated to play on standard keyboard, but playing the DS 5.5 was quite literally a dream come true. I was instantly able to play advanced repertoire with greater ease and after a year and a half of consistent practice on the DS 5.5 I was pain free in my hands and arms. This is an issue of health, but also artistic freedom. I have repertoire I want to play and sounds I want to create that are frankly impossible because of my small hand size. It is discriminatory to say that it is a hurdle I should have to jump just for the sake of an arbitrary standard. Art and music are for all people and a part of what makes us human. Isn’t it time the piano adapted to the humans who play it?
I gave away learning to play the piano because my hands were too small. If a suitable keyboard were manufactured I would buy a piano and take up where I left off.
The piano pedagogy and performance community needs to get with the times. Other instruments already come in different sizes. It’s ironic that the pedagogy community continues to push piano lessons for very young children, yet it still advocates traditional adult male-sized keys. I am an adult, classically trained and a former private teacher, but my physical limitations as a petite female keeps me from aspiring to perform concert-level pieces. Remember that musicians come in all shapes and sizes. To make piano playing and piano lessons more appealing to the masses, the establishment and the manufacturers need to be more accommodating.
I’ve suffered all my life from trying to stretch chords and play octaves and arpeggios at speed, all this getting in the way of the sheer enjoyment of playing and often undermining my confidence in performance. Now I’ve had to give up playing in concerts as I have arm problems. Do it!!!
I work with many pianists with injuries. Many of these have small hands and would not have suffered injury if they had had a smaller sized keyboard. I would also appreciate using one myself if I had the opportunity.
Piano keyboards are designed for the largest male hands, which most of us don’t have.
I am an athletics trainer who has worked with musicians. I have seen lots of chronic, overuse hand and finger injuries in pianists, most of them female. Their fingers and hands are smaller and are way overworked when playing. A smaller size would decrease the number of overuse injuries.
I had a DS5.5 keyboard installed on my Yamaha grand piano one year ago and have discovered for myself the incredible joy of playing on a keyboard that suits my hands. How wonderful it would be if piano manufacturers made pianos, both digital and acoustic, available with alternate sized keyboards so that my students could be practicing on such instruments at home.
Our research shows that female pianists have twice the injury rate that male pianists have.
It is time for the piano keyboard size to fit the pianists, instead of the other way around. The world can enjoy more musicians, who were trapped for too many years, now that we have the piano keyboard that free all from this bondage.
It is high time that the playing field is leveled for children, women and men pianists with smaller hand sizes. I cannot imagine a one-size-fits-all attitude in sports or sports equipment, clothing, furniture, etc., etc. Not to level the field in keyboard size is discrimination, plain and simple. It is also, as studies have repeatedly shown, a silent form of promotion–not reduction–of risks for playing-related injuries. Heartfelt thanks to all who have worked long and hard to promote this rational, humane, and healthful movement.
Please! I want to buy an affordable digital keyboard that fits my hands!
I’ve been saying this for years. I’m fortunate that I can play tenths with relative ease, but I recognize that that has nothing to do with talent, skill or dedication; I simply happened to win that round of the genetic lottery. Giving people with a smaller reach the ability to play a wider variety of music can only be good for music.
Do not underestimate the potential market for varied size keyboards. Traditional keyboard size established to suit the hands of European males, but pianists have long since encompassed a much broader demographic. Variety is as inevitable as it is historical in the many centuries of keyboard construction prior to the iconic 19th century and the mass-produced standard.
Small hands learn bad habits and end up with unnecessary tension when trying to play intervals which extend their hands too much. It also limits their repertoire.
I have a niece who is a very talented pianist, but she nearly had to quit her master’s program because of shoulder and hand pain. She now has small keys that make it much easier for her. Many people like her would benefit from smaller size keys. Please make different sized keyboards available for all.
I can’t believe this hasn’t changed yet! The persistent discrimination in this particular instrument against those with ‘small hands’ amazes me. I play a smaller violin and I’m not considered less of a musician. I hope people begin to realize that hand size is not an indicator of musical ability. Just like foot size is not an indicator of athletic ability!
If smaller keyboards were readily available, I would instantly buy one and recommend it for all of my students. Please make this happen!!!
I believe you’ll discover that these smaller pianos will prove that they’re not a ‘niche’ product but can generate mainstream sales — if you will build them!
We human beings are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve our lifestyle and become more efficient. This smaller size keyboard will achieve that, by making the piano practice time more efficient and will prevent performance injuries and deformations in the hands of our children. These which are caused because the regular size piano is just too big for many of us. Why not support a change for the good?
For years questions like, ‘How am I even going to reach that note? Why am I even trying? I thought piano playing was supposed to be enjoyable?’ often mulled around in my head as I tried to do ‘work -arounds’ to piano pieces all because I could never reach a comfortable octave, never mind a 9th or even 10th and the frustration and disappointment that came with it because the piece seldom sounded the same after the alterations. People should be able to buy pianos that fit their own hands and avoid the numerous problems that a lot of pianists face. Develop a passion for the instrument instead a grudge.
I lost function in 2 fingers for 6 months due to damage caused by overstretching my hand on a standard piano. I say we join together and pressure Yamaha to make a high quality digital piano for the rest of us.
I wish that I could buy a digital piano with a smaller keyboard. My grown children do as well.
Adult learning to play; hand can just barely reach octave if played on the bottom of the keys; there is a market for digital pianos to be designed for smaller hands; no way I can afford a nicer piano, but I would buy a small hands digital piano in a heartbeat (and a bet a lot of other adults learning to play or parents with children learning to play would too).
As a lifelong pianist and teacher for nearly two decades, I can attest that the time for alternate-sized keyboards is long overdue. The current standard of keyboard size particularly favors a specific population: grown men with large hands. Therefore, it is the source of physical harm (sometimes irreparable) for excellent, enthusiastic pianists who attempt to perform repertoire according to the exacting requirements of the classical world, or else it limits the repertoire and discourages fine pianists who might otherwise pursue rewarding careers.
As a jazz piano student, one of the major limitations I deal with is the size of my fingers. I would definitely purchase a piano or keyboard which is “right sized” for my hands. I know a smaller keyboard would reduce the hand injuries and tendinitis I suffer from to pursue my art!
The availability of alternate-sized keyboards will democratise the keyboard for players of all sizes and should be for all keyboards, organs & electronic keyboards.
As a professional pianist, I’ve been struggling for decades with the width of the standard keyboard, as my hands are just too small to play most 10ths, an interval often called for in 19th, 20th and 21st century music. This limitation is not because I lack talent or haven’t studied well enough. This is because of a mismatch between keyboard and hand size. And this needs to stop.
Manufacturers are missing out on a large market share. There is a demand out here for these products which will increase enormously when they become available.
Lost motivation to play the piano since it hurts to play pieces with big chords.
It is long overdue. Most instruments come in various sizes. But not pianos. Perhaps this can jumpstart and revitalize piano sales. It seems like a no brainer as far as digital pianos are concerned.
My whole life would have been different if this had been available to me.
My current piano strains my hands since they have to reach across keys that are unnecessarily wide. I was dumbfounded by the fact that so few piano manufacturers haven’t realized the need for more suitable key widths. Especially with how many people would benefit from it.
I cannot believe that in this day and age I can’t find any keyboards or pianos with narrower keys. I can’t play the same songs as half of the population because pianos were and are still only made for one body type. We should not have to develop these awkward techniques to try and work around the too-large keys as well as risk injuries to our tendons, just to be unable to make the same sounds anyway. I just want to play the songs I love.
I would love to have a piano with narrower keys! I have very small hands, and can only reach an octave with a tense, stretched hand on the standard keyboard, By contrast, on my “lady-sized” piano-accordion keyboard, I can reach 10ths easily. Despite never having formally studied the accordion, I find it much easier and more pleasurable to play — and I wish I could have the same pleasure and ability on the piano!
The request is supported by many research! Build them!!
As a petite female with a hand span of 7 inches I SOOOooooo long for the day that DS.5.5 becomes widely available.
I’ve tried smaller sizes keys before and it’s astounding how much of a difference it makes.
I believe manufacturers would be shocked at how many “lapsed” pianists would rush to buy a piano, especially a digital piano, with a reduced-size keyboard. This is a dramatically underserved market.
Reaching a 10th comfortably would change my life. I will purchase the first alt-size digital instrument that appears from any manufacturer, no matter the cost. My hands would prefer 15/16, but I think 7/8 is the most important size for reaching the most people.
I hit a wall because my hands are too small. It’s really sad to me that I can’t play the classical music that I want to.
My recent experience with alternatively sized keyboards has been a revelation. I have never been so liberated on the piano. The concept of narrower key widths to suit a pianist’s morphology is genius. My skeptical wife, who has larger hands than me, now demands such a keyboard for our own use!
There is no question that these smaller sized keyboards are a no brainer!
A great piano with keys that fit my smaller female hands would be so much more fun.
My adult hands have a reach span of less than 7 1/2 inch. I would like to learn on a reduced size keyboard that fits my hands. I don’t have the money to invest in a custom-made piano, and I have no dreams of recitals, just to play at home and enjoy the instrument, so I would really enjoy more affordable options for those of us with small hands
Digital pianos should be easy to make in a 5.5 standard. We should all have more options.
I teach piano to children who are primarily ages 4 – 10. There are smaller versions of violins and guitars and other instruments. Why not pianos and keyboards? I would replace my 6 digital pianos for smaller keyboard versions in a heartbeat.
I feel discriminated against by the dominance of the mainstream 6.5 keyboard size. I always thought it was my inability that kept me from playing much of the classical repertoire – now I see that I was disadvantaged, and didn’t need to be. The 6.0 and 5.5 inch keyboards need to be widely available and accepted by the industry.
I have the DS5.5 keyboard and it is life changing! I went from not playing piano at all to starting to record my first album!
Tired of male pianists with giant hands insisting that small hands can play the piano just fine because many people have “overcome” the issue by suffering with pain or simply dropping notes. This is not a solution and there is no reason there shouldn’t be variation of piano key sizes to accommodate the hand size of the player.
Any person who depends on an instrument / instruments for their livelihood, whether it be for music, sport, science, medicine, or any other profession, should have options for instrument customization. It’s a strange historical anomaly that the piano keyboard is codified to a larger-than-average hand size.
This benefits everyone. Pianos become more accessible which would lend to more pianos being sold overall. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Eminent people who have signed the petition
|Dr Rae de Lisle||Associate Professor and Head of Piano, University of Auckland||New Zealand|
|Dr Jovanni-Rey de Pedro||Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, University of Idaho||USA|
|Dr Ezra Bartz||Senior lecturer & piano class cordinator, Texas State University, Austin||USA|
|Mr Ian Munro||Concert pianist, composer and teacher||Australia|
|Dr Marina Lomazov||Concert pianist, Professor of Piano, University of South Carolina||USA|
|Dr Lane Harder||Lecturer in Music theory and composition, Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX||USA|
|Dr Scott Gendel||Composer and arranger||USA|
|Prof Martha Fischer||Professor of Piano, University of Madison-Wisonsin||USA|
|Dr Midori Koga||Associate Professor Keyboard, Piano & Piano Pedagogy, University of Toronto||Canada|
|Ms Betty Vergara-Pink||Former Professor in Piano and Piano Pedagogy, Freiburg Musikhochschule, Germany||Australia|
|Dr David Forbat||Professor of Piano, University of Central Oklahoma||USA|
|Mr Diego Munhoz||Professor of Piano, Paris||France|
|Ms Sonia Rubinsky||Concert pianist, Paris||France|
|Mr Pablo Rossi||Concert pianist, Brussels||Belgium|
|Mr Jean-Frédéric Neuberger||Concert pianist & teacher at Paris Conservatoire||France|
|Dr Mario Ajero||Associate Professor Piano Pedagogy, Stephen Austin State University, Texas||USA|
|Dr Barbara Lister-Sink||Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence, Salem College, NC||USA|
|Ms Wendy Lorenz||Performance Teaching Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra||Australia|
|Dr Vanessa Cornett||Associate Professor of Piano & Piano Pedagogy, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis – St Paul, MN||USA|
|Mr Darryl Coote||President, Australian National Piano Award, teacher at Monash University||Australia|
|Dr Ralph Manchester||Former Editor-in-Chief, Medical Problems of Performing Artists journal, NY||USA|
|Prof Gail Berenson||Professor Emeritus of Piano Performance, Ohio University||USA|
|Dr Jeff Russell||Assistant Professor, Performing Arts Health Care, Ohio University||USA|
|Dr David Korevaar||Professor of Piano, University of Boulder, Colorado||USA|
|Dr Brenda Wristen||Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln||USA|
|Dr Bronwen Ackermann||Editor-in-Chief, Medical Problems of Performing Artists journal, Sydney University Medical School||Australia|
|Ms Penelope Roskell||Professor of Piano, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London||United Kingdom|
|Dr Stephen McIntyre||Associate Professor in Piano, University of Melbourne||Australia|
|Dr Mayumi Osada||Adjunct instructor of piano, High Point University, NC||USA|
|Dr Pamela Mia Paul||Professor of Piano, University of North Texas, TX||USA|
|Dr Jessica Johnson||Professor of Piano & Piano Pedagogy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI||USA|
|Dr Carol Leone||Associate Professor and Chair of Keyboard Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX||USA|
|Dr. Artina McCain||Assistant Professor of Piano, University of Memphis, TN||USA|
|Mr Domenico Codispoti||Concert pianist, Piano Professor at Conservatorio “Lorenzo Perosi” in Campobasso||Italy|
|Dr. Cathy Lysinger||Professor of Practice in Piano and Pedagogy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX||USA|
|Mr Paulo Henrique Almeida||Concert pianist, Brazil||Brazil|
|Mr Pablo Rossi||Concert pianist, Brazil||Brazil|
|Dr Peter Jutras||Former Editor in Chief, Clavier Companion journal, Assoc Prof Piano & Piano Pedagogy, University of Georgia||USA|
|Prof Ulrike Wohlwender||Professor of Piano Pedagogy, University of Music and Performing Arts, Stuttgart||Germany|
|Dr Murray McLachlan||Head of keyboard at Chetham’s school, Editor Piano Professional magazine, concert pianist, Chair EPTA UK||UK|
|Prof Ulrich Hench||Professor of Piano Pedagogy, Hochschule for Musik, Nurnburg||Germany|
|Mr Piers Lane||International concert pianist||UK/Australia|
|Ms Jody Heald||Chair, Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference Association Committee||Australia|
|Dr Roger Lord||Professor of Piano, Université de Moncton, New Brunswick||Canada|
|Dr Stephen Pierce||Director of Keyboard Pedagogy and Secondary Piano, USC Thornton School fo Music||USA|
|Ms Kathryn Mientka||Concert pianist and Director of Western Slope concert series, Grand Junction, Colorado||USA|
|Mr Simon Tedeschi||Concert pianist, Sydney||Australia|
|Mr Hideki Tanabe||Professor at Hitotsubashi University, pianist and musicologist||Japan|
|Mr Jayson Gillham||International concert pianist||UK/Australia|
|Dr Julia Mortyakova||Chair of Music Department at Mississippi University for Women, concert pianist||USA|
|Dr Linda Kouvaras||Associate Professor in Music, University of Melbourne||Australia|
|Dr Matthias Bertsch||Professor of Musicology, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna||Austria|
|Dr Susan Gray||Professor of Piano University of South Dakota||USA|
|Dr Kathryn Ananda-Owens||Professor of Music, St Olaf College, Minnesota||USA|
|Dr Bernadette Harvey||Concert pianist, Lecturer in pedagogy and piano, Sydneu Uni Conservatorium of Music||Australia|
|Dr Kirill Monorosi||Concert pianist, Lecturer and teacher at Sydney Uni Conservatorium of Music||Australia|
|Dr Alan Hucklebury||Professor of Piano Pedagogy, University of Iowa||USA|
|Dr Richard Fountain||Professor of Piano, Wayland Baptist University, Texas||USA|
|Dr Nicholas Phillips||Concert pianist and Professor of Piano, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire||USA|
|Dr Tom Pearsall||Professor of Piano, Georgia Southern University||USA|
|Dr Daniel Horn||Professor of piano and Chair of keyboard studies, Wheaton College, Ilinois||USA|
|Dr Jonathan Tsay||Concert pianist, University of Memphis||USA|
|Dr Pamela Jones||Assoc Professor, School of Music, University of Utah||USA|
|Ms Heather O’Donnell||Concert pianist and teacher, Dusseldorf. https://www.heatherodonnell.info/||Germany|
|Mr Andres Martinez||Concert pianist, Asturias||Spain|
|Ms Olga Albasini||Concert pianist, Murcia Spain||Spain|
|Dr Robert Watson||Professor of Piano, California State Uni, Fullerton||USA|
|Dr Sara Ernst||Associate Professor at University of South Carolina||USA|