Pianos and Proprioception
by Julie C.
A few weeks ago we experimented with our sense of proprioception. Proprioception is the sense of where our bodies are in space and how much force we need to use to move them. If your sense of proprioception is impaired you may talk too loudly, press a pencil hard onto paper, or grasp things too forcefully. Going through a growth spurt often temporarily impairs one’s proprioception, which is why adolescents tend to knock into things.
We tested our own senses of proprioception with blind drawing. We sat in the West Gallery and took five minutes to draw the exhibits around us. The only rule was no looking at our paper while we did it. A few people drew the same exhibit. Can you tell which one it is?
Pretty good, right? And drawings get better the more you make. It’s because you’re developing your sense of where your hand is on the page.
There are lots of ways you can test your sense of proprioception – and even trick yourself! If you want to practice improving your sense of proprioception try juggling, balancing on one leg, or blind drawing!