Though it may seem to be self explanatory, you would be surprised to see how many people go the wrong way about opening the piano. Some are terrified to break it, some are confused about where to put the stick, some are not sure the slender stick can actually support the lid… But many a time this seemingly mundane task takes a form of a potential disaster. So we decided to give you a step-by-step instructions as to how to open a piano lid successfully and without any bodily harm or damage to the instrument.
Stand upright and approach the piano (smiling here is expedited)
Make sure there are no objects on the piano lid: all picture frames and other trinkets need to me removed (obviously)
Standing on a side of the piano in-line with the keyboard raise the front flap of the lid and fold it over so it reveals the music stand resting within and the pin block of your instrument. (The metal hinge that runs across the piano just where the curve of the rim begins)
Once the flap of the lid is laying flat against the rest of the lid, grasp the thick part of the front-facing lid from the side of the piano (where the flap is laying over the lid beneath) and push it up with the bottom part of the palm of your hand (the metacarpal part). The best is when the edge of the lid is resting of the ‘meaty cushion’ towards the base of the wrist.
As you lift the lid with one sweeping motion until your arm is fully extended and the lid is up like a sail – grasp the support stick that is hinged to the side of the piano where you are standing and raise it up. The stick is always raising out of the piano upwards and its base is always perpendicular to the line of the piano’s rim.
Now this process may be complicated by the following: if the piano is more modern the support stick hosts a baby stick within itself – a so-called ‘short stick’. This allows you to have the piano open just a little bit, which is suitable for chamber music or vocal performances. Notice: in the case of two-stick scenario there will be two flush holes in the bottom of the lid where those sticks are meant to go.
IMPORTANT: the hole closer to the edge of the lid is the one for the SHORT stick. The hole further ‘inland’ – for the long stick. If you put the long stick into the wrong hole (the one near the edge) it will throw off the balance of the lid and may result if lid’s collapse or crack and it will cave in under its own weight. This is the very common mistake and it can really damage the piano and potentially those in its close proximity, not to mention the mental trauma of collapsing lid!
If there is only one hole and one stick – the process is ever easier – there is no way to misplace the two. Voilá! Your piano is officially open!
That’s all. Really. Once the piano is properly open – step away to either the piano bench (if you are playing) or a nearby furniture if you are a listener and enjoy the beautifully resonant music.