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I have a full size electronic keyboard for my 89-year-old mother who has memory issues as well as macular degeneration and curvature of the spine. I’m looking for details on setting the piano up for her use including: 1) the correct height and brand of an adjustable furniture like keyboard stand; 2) the correct height and chair type; 3) lighting and sheet music holder stand. My mother is 5’1” and weighs 135 pounds.

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First get the chair/seat height right for her legs. Thighs just about horizontal - knees slightly lower than hips. Feet need to be, funnily enough, flat on the floor.

Then work out where her arms are going. Again, probably about parallel to her thighs will be a good start point, elbows slightly higher than wrists as she plays, with bent fingers.

Those are merely start points - she may feel more comfortable with a lower keyboard, due to her back problem, so any actual measurements here are futile. Try it for a couple of weeks, adjust as necessary. Great to hear someone of that age is playing. Good luck to her! And you, adjusting subtly as you both go!

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  • Tim, thank you for your response. And, yes, always adjust subtly as needed! Oct 10, 2023 at 9:32
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The standard height (i.e. what Steinway do) of the top of the keys above the floor is about 28½ inches. Adjust the stool so that her forearms are level while in playing position. Or use whatever chair/stool is available/comfortable and adjust keyboard height accordingly.

Sounds like she'll prefer the music quite close, and well-lit. Make it so!

You've also thrown her curvature of the spine into the equation. Adjust as necessary.

Enjoy!

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  • Laurence, thanks for sharing this information. Oct 10, 2023 at 9:34

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