Tutor/Facilitator Rhonda Boyle
Date: on/from Tue 3 Aug 2021 to Tue 3 Aug 2021
Class time: 1:30-2:30
The ‘one size fits all’ piano keyboard causes much pain and injury and prevents most pianists from reaching their musical potential. A revolution is needed. It is clear that today’s conventional keyboard, which has prevailed since the 1880s, is too big for more than half of the adult population as well as most children. Those who have hands that are ‘too small’ to play a significant amount of piano repertoire face restricted choices, limitations on achieving excellence, curtailed careers and ongoing frustration. They often put up with pain and also risk injury. Women have significantly smaller hand spans than men, which explains why men are over- represented among world class pianists and winners of international competitions.
I coordinate a global movement known as PASK (Pianists for Alternatively Sized Keyboards) which aims to convince piano manufacturers to produce piano keyboards in two additional smaller sizes in addition to the current size.
This session will cover:
(1) Brief piano keyboard history
(2) The problems with a single size keyboard
(3) Some of the barriers to change
(4) The PASK movement and
(5) Personal reflections.
Rhonda Boyle pursued a career with the Victorian government in metropolitan planning, environmental science and policy development. She learnt piano as child, completing all AMEB exams to grade 7. She returned to piano lessons in 2000 with Robert Chamberlain, and then acquired a DS5.5® keyboard for her piano in 2009. This led to independent research, conference presentations and publications in Australia and overseas on hand size and piano playing. Rhonda now coordinates a global network of pianists and others pushing for change to the ‘one size fits-all’ piano keyboard. She is also a director of the US-based DS Standard Foundation.
Websites: paskpiano.org, smallpianokeyboards.org, dsstandardfoundation.org
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