Teaching Little Hands Piano Teachnique Part 2

Teaching technique to little hands part 2 One of the major issues that needs to be addressed in young piano students is hand shape. I can’t even count the number of students who have come to me playing with “flat” hands. So I thought I would share some of the philosopy I follow when correcting hand shape and some fun tricks to use with younger students.

First off, I don’t necessary believe that a student should have curved fingers. So I don’t follow the idea of giving them a ball to hold or visualize. Why? Well research has shown that for some students curving their fingers is unnatural and causes more piano playing injuries. Students instead should learn to use their hand naturally as they will be less likely to struggle with playing injuries.

How do you know what is natural? Have your student place their relaxed hand in their lap or hanging down by their side. Tell them to put their hand by their side just like they do when the walk. What shape is their hand in? Are their fingers more curved or less curved. Each student will be unique. Now take their hand, and without changing the shape, place it on the piano. This is the shape you are striving for.

That said, all students will have some gentle curve to their hands, no one can play with a completely flat hands.  Here are some ideas to help students develop a natural hand shape that is perfect for them.

My favorite is having them pretend their hand is a cave. Let them pick their animal and pretend to “place” it in their cave. Then the goal is for them not to squash their animal by letting the “roof fall down”. I have also seen this modified to be a cage with a butterfly or bird inside.

The second idea is a bridge. A student’s hand is the bridge and underneath is the road. You can even get a toy car to go under their hand. This is a great one just be aware that some student’s bridges will be shorter, smaller etc.

So if you are looking for a fresh way to introduce proper hand position then give these ideas a try.

What are your favorite ideas to introduce technique with young students? I would love to hear what you do!

One Thought on “Teaching Little Hands Piano Teachnique Part 2

  1. Dianne Cox on January 2, 2015 at 9:58 am said:

    I have students use my recently patented, pink , Finger Tutus. They really love these! Even the boys are encouraged to use a better hand position so they don’t have to wear the “ballerina skirts”. I am currently looking for a manufacturer. If you have any suggestions, they will be greatly appreciated.

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