Using and moving a piano

Before you start

  • Check over the piano for any issues before you start playing including tuning, broken strings, scratches or other damage. If you find something, let PAC resources staff know so that we can fix things in a timely manner
  • Wear closed toe shoes when moving a piano
  • Have another person to help move the piano


  • Treat pianos like they are your own
  • Leave food and drink in your bag. Move well away from the piano to take a drink of water, and out of the practice room to eat or drink anything else
  • Replace the cover when you are finished rehearsing or playing
  • Leave brakes unlocked when you leave a piano in the wings
  • Leave brakes locked when you leave a piano on the stage


  • Place anything (other than music/iPad and a pencil) on or in the piano or music desk (even if the cover is on)
  • Prepare pianos, pluck strings or manipulate any piano without written permission from both your stream convener and the PAC resources team
  • Move a piano or lift the lid if you are not confident. Always ask for help

How to move a piano into position

  1. Check the surroundings. Remove any obstructions along the path to and in the location you wish to move the piano.
  2. Discuss the move with the second person so that you both know where and how you are moving the piano.
  3. Take off the piano cover or close the main lid if required.
  4. If there is a keyboard felt on the piano, place it under the front lid.
  5. Open the front lid to allow for a better grip on the piano frame.
  6. Unlock the wheels.
  7. TWO people are required to move a piano. With one person at the keyboard end and one by the tail, slowly move the piano into the new position.
  8. If you have moved the piano onto stage, lock the wheels. If you have moved the piano into the wings, please leave the wheels unlocked.
  9. If you aren’t going to use the piano immediately, close the front lid, lock the keyboard and replace the piano cover.

Lifting the lid

  1. Check that the keyboard is unlocked.
  2. If there is a keyboard felt on the keyboard, place it under the front lid and open it.
  3. Check that the wheels are locked.
  4. Decide if you need to use full stick or short stick before lifting.
  5. ONE person only should lift the piano lid. If you find this too heavy, please find another person to lift for you. It is too difficult for two people to safely lift the lid.
  6. Bend your knees and grab the lid with your hand.
  7. Lift the lid by extending your legs and arm.
  8. While holding the weight of the lid with one hand, insert the lid prop into the appropriate hole with the other.
  9. Check that the stick and lid are at 90 degrees. If not, the stick is in the wrong hole and the lid is at risk of falling.

Closing the lid

  1. ONE person only should lower the piano lid. If you find it too heavy, please get another person to lower the lid for you. It is too difficult for two people to safely lower the lid.
  2. Check that the wheels are locked.
  3. Remove any obstructions that will prevent the lid from closing and make sure you have enough space around you and the piano to lower the lid safely (the music desk, microphones, cables, nearby pianos etc.)
  4. Hold the lid prop with one hand.
  5. Using your other hand, grab the lid near the front corner and lift slightly.
  6. Remove the lid prop, lowering it into the piano.
  7. Bend your knees and gently lower the piano lid.

Packing up

  1. Fold away the music desk and ensure it is slid back toward the tail of the piano.
  2. Move the piano into the wings or into a storage position if required.
  3. Close the front lid, replacing the keyboard felt back on the keyboard (if present).
  4. Close the fallboard and lock the piano.
  5. Replace the piano cover.

Having trouble?

If you are still having trouble or want some additional pointers, email the technical team for assistance:


Seen something that could be improved? Whether it be equipment, safety or procedures. We are always open to feedback and improving the student experience. Please forward all feedback to