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Piano Wrist Supports

The client approached REMAP to ask for help to enable her to play her piano. Post polio syndrome has caused muscle loss reducing mobility and strength in her upper limbs. She used to enjoy playing the piano but loss of motor function meant she could no longer hold her arms up from a seated position to play the keys.

The Challenge

The client wished to play her piano but was unable to sit and support her arms for any length of time. The challenge was to provide arm/wrist supports that allowed free movement along the length of the keyboard, without obstructing the keyboard. The client also wanted to teach her grandchildren to learn the piano and so any support system shouldn’t obstruct this activity.

The solution

Before starting the project I searched the REMAP Solutions data base and found the problem had been dealt with by colleagues in the Bournemouth & District panel. See https://remap.org.uk/solutions/wrist-support-for-pianist/ . I contacted them and was supplied with additional information on one other similar project developed by John Garnish and I am very grateful for the information supplied.

In my case I chose to use off-the-shelve aluminium extrusions commonly used to make 3D printers and small CNC machines. These have roller systems that provide free running secure sliding mounts. Onto these I added 3D printed supports that pivoted and gave a suitably sized and shaped support to the clients wrists.

The rails were fixed to the piano as shown. Threaded inserts were used so that, if in the future the support system was removed, the ‘hole’ could be covered with black headed button screws and would have minimal visual impact.

The benefit

The client is able to access the keyboard and play her piano, and she is confident that she will be able to help her grandchildren learn as well.

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