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#1191358 - 05/01/09 04:26 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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KS, your first leopold picture (fig 3 in his book) is actually entitled 'Faulty Position', so not much of a model to anyone.
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#1191359 - 05/01/09 04:26 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
C.Y. Offline
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Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
This is just one violinist on youtube, but I have seen several and they all seems like to have curved-finger left hands.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWFcwdtpJas

keyboardklutz seems to imply the violinists would get tendonitis because of their curved fingers. What's your take on it?

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#1191361 - 05/01/09 04:29 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: C.Y.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.
keyboardklutz seems to imply the violinists would get tendonitis because of their curved fingers. What's your take on it?
I'm sorry, I must have missed that post.
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#1191369 - 05/01/09 04:48 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
KS, your first leopold picture (fig 3 in his book) is actually entitled 'Faulty Position', so not much of a model to anyone.

The 45 degree angle to the floor is typical of the time and his playing, and would be considered extremely wrong nowadays for good reason.
CY, you'll get your best answers from people who are experienced in playing and/or teaching the violin. violinist.com and maestronet.com have some excellent people on board.
I'll leave this discussion to go back on track to piano.

KS


Edited by keystring (05/01/09 04:56 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar

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#1191371 - 05/01/09 04:48 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
C.Y. Offline
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Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

It is the lack of relaxing naturally within the piece that creates tension, the composer gives us lots of opportunities to relax, the ends of phrases, beginning of new phrases, long notes half note and above, changing hand shapes and positions for instance.

Any tension is injected only as and when needed according to composers demands in the music.

Also, when students learn to play to the phrase, the ambitus and the tessitura, their fingers achieve a new glide to targeted notes on the piano, the "fingersounds" begin to disappear and the phrase takes on new dimensions of flow. Of course, there is a lot of technique to learn behind this explanation. How and why we use our apparatus the way we do to evoke the sound is a step beyond the note naming, key finding, fingering impulse and duration that occurs in basic piano lessons.

Betty,
I understand as you get more advanced, you have to create different "tones" with different ways to "press" the key. I have heard some people says that for certain "tones", you have to play with flatter fingers. But for beginners, do you still expect them to do that? If not, how do you ask your beginner students to play?

I agree that the lack of relaxing naturally within the piece that creates tension. Do you imply the curved fingers can't relax natually and only flatter fingers can? This is the part I don't understand. Both use the knuckles as pivot to move fingers up and down while the curved fingers' second joints are relaxing and the flatter fingers' second joints are extending out with a little bit of force applied.

Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

The word "grab" keeps appearing when we talk about hand shape and fingering. How much I disagree with that! I also disagree with "hit".

I don't understand where the the word "grab" comes from, at least I didn't notice my son's fingers "grab" (the motion towards the palm) anything.

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#1191374 - 05/01/09 04:52 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Great posts Betty! I'm pretty much in whole hearted agreement with most! (I hope Kreisler isn't getting jealous)


frown
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#1191377 - 05/01/09 04:55 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
C.Y. Offline
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Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
keyboardklutz seems to imply the violinists would get tendonitis because of their curved fingers. What's your take on it?
I'm sorry, I must have missed that post.


I am sorry I probably misunderstood you.
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Then why violinists don't have tension problems with curved fingers while pianists could have tension problems with curved fingers (according to Betty)? I thought violinists also only move the knuckles (third joint) and the first and second joints almost are not moved.

When I said moving the knuckles up and down, I meant using knuckles as a pivot and move fingers up and down.


Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
C.Y. i gotta say, could you do some googling first? Google Stuttgard School and piano, then try violin and tendonitis, you'll get most of your answers.

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#1191379 - 05/01/09 05:00 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
keystring Offline
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Quote:
Romantic music totally changes the picture. Think about the "why" of it, again, different era. What were the changes?

This is a confirmation, then, that the German owl on tree branch hand does not work with music of a different era and style? I did not know how to word my question in pianistic terms a year ago. Thank you for the explanation.

KS

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#1191432 - 05/01/09 07:14 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
C.Y. said: "?When I said moving the knuckles up and down, I meant using knuckles as a pivot and move fingers up and down."

Fingers pivot at the finger tips to turn in the direction (left or right) toward the next key.

Fingers are connected by knuckle joints to allow opening and closing and shaping of the fingers as desirable. Then the lifting up and down of the finger occurs - the detail being where on the hand the message is being sent to lift from.

These are two different movements for different purposes.

It is difficult to figure out what a poster is saying when it is all written dialogue with no examples using diagrams or graphics. The typing keyboard just doesn't have the capacity to do this - directions and curves are lacking.

Maybe we should quit while we are ahead.

Another thing I need to mention, I don't like to see my comments about piano hands used in talking about violin, it does not compute, but there was the quote again with my name. A misuse of what I was saying about piano hands.

The more we express what we don't understand, the more confusion we create for ourselves. Is it not simple to find a responsbile resource with which to learn. Supposition isn't what it's cracked up to be. And, we can ask and ask and ask, but if the knowledged person is not here to post, we are out of luck for today. Also, if the knowledged person has posted well to our questions we are not going to know it was a good answer we just received. Two steps forward, one step backwards.

Music is a pursuit for a lifetime. Pursuit doesn't mean beating something to death to get an answer. Quiet pursuit gives us a "gift" when we are ready to receive it. We now know, but in the meantime other question have come up. Are we done yet? No. Never.

Betty

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#1191434 - 05/01/09 07:18 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Kreisler]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Poster: Kreisler
Subject: Re: What's your definition of curved fingers?


Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Great posts Betty! I'm pretty much in whole hearted agreement with most! (I hope Kreisler isn't getting jealous)

To which Kreisler frowned! (icon) (No comment given)


I'm adding:

thumb

Gee, I keep good company!

Thank you!

Betty




Edited by Betty Patnude (05/01/09 07:20 PM)

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#1191464 - 05/01/09 08:37 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

Fingers pivot at the finger tips to turn in the direction (left or right) toward the next key.



You cannot "pivot" your finger at the tip to the left or the right. This is anatomically impossible.

The word pivot used in this context means a joint in which movement is limited to rotation. You cannot "rotate" your fingertip. The Distal inter-phalangeal joint (the one at your finger tip) is a hinge joint, not a pivot joint.
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#1191530 - 05/01/09 11:25 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Gerry Armstrong]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Differences of opinion between Gerry and Betty exists here - would you like to entertain the question and help us come to a conclusion?

Gerry tells us: "You cannot "pivot" your finger at the tip to the left or the right. This is anatomically impossible."

Then Gerry says: "The word pivot used in this context means a joint in which movement is limited to rotation. You cannot "rotate" your fingertip. The Distal inter-phalangeal joint (the one at your finger tip) is a hinge joint, not a pivot joint.

Betty responds: The entire finger pivots after pressing and holding down the key with one finger tip - swing to the left or swing to the right at the point of contact. You can do this move with your feet also. If it were your body pivoting, your entire body would follow in the direction. The finger or the body turns as a unit.

Unfortunately you are not understanding what I mean, and your context is not the one I am using, as I did not mean or say that knuckle joints are pivoting in any way, neither are they opening and closing. The fingers are simply keeping their connection in a bent shape to form a piano hand - 5 units of fingers. Or, if you want to say it this way, 4 fingers and a thumb, and of course the thumb is not bent.

Betty clarifies: It is the finger tip on the key that is pivoting - swinging away from the center of the finger tip. The purpose of this movement is stated previously in another posting.

The "Hokey Pokey" has the pivot in it, by the way, do you remember ever doing this dance?
"First you put your two feet close up tight,
You sway them to the left, you sway them to the right....."

And we didn't need any bandaids to repair any injured fingers did we?

Betty Patnude

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#1191534 - 05/01/09 11:34 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Gerry Armstrong Offline
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Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 214
Loc: Cumbernauld, Scotland
You obviously don't understand what the word "pivot" means.

Pivoting refers to rotation. As I explained above, it is anatomically impossible for the fingertip or an entire finger to rotate.

If you mean something else then it would be helpful if you use another word as fingers CANNOT pivot.
_________________________
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#1191559 - 05/02/09 01:09 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
C.Y. Offline
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Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
C.Y. said: "?When I said moving the knuckles up and down, I meant using knuckles as a pivot and move fingers up and down."

Fingers pivot at the finger tips to turn in the direction (left or right) toward the next key.


From this response, I can tell you probably don't understand everything I said in this thread because of my poor English.

What I tried to describe is when playing in 5-finger position (the finger stays on the same key), how the fingers move down to press the key and lift up to release the key with curved fingers shape. It is done by using the knuckles as a pivot (or a hinge), just like what Kreisler said for the flatter fingers. (In his definition, the flatter fingers are called curved fingers.)
Like this one


Originally Posted By: Kreisler
A person playing with curved "healthy" fingers, would rely on support from the nail joint and movement from the knuckles (more like waving good-bye than making a fist.)


You said the following quote, but you didn't actually say what is the hand shape that you are suggesting.
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
There is no reason that a tension problem will result with the hand shape I'm suggesting.


From the following quote, it seems you are against the curved fingers like keyboardklutz. Does it mean the hand shape you are suggesting is the flatter fingers? It also seems you are suggesting the curved fingers could cause tension.
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
My point being, that I think many pianists wind up tapping the keys with limited finger motion because the curved hand position is designed to limit motion because we now play the finger from the top of the finger where we "see" it begin and that there is a tension in the hand and fingers because of this concept. Yes, this is needed in Baroque and Classical music where finger control is fingertips playing close to the keys and quickly. Dynamics? Some, from arm weight, but, nuances? Not with the fingers.


I am sorry if I misunderstood you and misquoted you in my previous posts.

Since now all the responses indicate the curved fingers shape is bad and none suports the curved fingers in PA books, should I consider changing my son's teacher who teachs the curved fingers in PA books?

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#1191568 - 05/02/09 01:28 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: C.Y.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: C.Y.

From the following quote, it seems you are against the curved fingers like keyboardklutz. Does it mean the hand shape you are suggesting is the flatter fingers? It also seems you are suggesting the curved fingers could cause tension.
This really is muddying the waters. We've had plenty of threads on the topic and seem to have an understanding that the relaxed hand has a natural curve (as descried by Chopin) so is called curved. The other is curled. If you want different nomenclature you'll have to find a greater authority than Chopin. And yes, I'd change teachers.
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#1191570 - 05/02/09 01:34 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
KS, your first leopold picture (fig 3 in his book) is actually entitled 'Faulty Position', so not much of a model to anyone.

The 45 degree angle to the floor is typical of the time and his playing, and would be considered extremely wrong nowadays for good reason.
I'm sorry KS, but that really is pathetic. You post Leopold's (one of the greatest authorities on violin playing of the 18th century) picture of how not to play the violin and say it's wrong! THAT'S THE POINT OF THE PICTURE!. Here is his 'correct' picture:
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#1191572 - 05/02/09 01:35 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Great posts Betty! I'm pretty much in whole hearted agreement with most! (I hope Kreisler isn't getting jealous)


frown
Like taking candy from a baby!
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#1191578 - 05/02/09 01:58 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
C.Y. Offline
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Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391

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#1191581 - 05/02/09 02:09 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: currawong]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: currawong

Different teachers can mean different things by their terminology. The important thing is that the teacher demonstrates to the student what they mean by the terminology so that there's no confusion. You could find out what a majority of teachers here mean by "curved fingers" but it still wouldn't tell you what any other individual teacher means.

It's worse. The majority of teachers who assume they mean the same thing may not, and people who assume they don't agree at all may actually play in much the same way.

I'd wager than anyone who attempts to correct technical problems by reading the advice given in such threads will, if *lucky*, be no *worse* off than before.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1191582 - 05/02/09 02:26 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: C.Y.]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: C.Y.

How about those kids?
George Li
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGln8LFA8Qw

The problem is that you have to look at the whole body. I hate the tension I see in this kid's neck. It is not interfering with his playing, but he is heading for spinal problems. Some people get lucky and play a lifetime hunched like that and merely get—well, hunched. But posture is *terrible*. But he will be allowed to play that way because he is young and impressive.

Same thing with the neck. There is a lot of tension in that young body. My belief is that he will pay later.

The fact that these children play so impressively has nothing to do with what they are doing with their bodies, and you don't get young players to stop that unless you tell them why and HOW.

The other children are simply not in the same class as the ones I mentioned. Both may end up being absolutely first rate adult players with big careers, but they have already been trained to believe that holding that tension in the shoulders, back, etc. is necessary and somehow makes them better players, which is a crime.

And that's the big problem with all these discussions of hands. People stop looking at the rest of the body, so the fingers themsevles may be doing very effiecient and natural things, while the rest of the body is being destroyed. Worst case scenario comes about when you have see someone like Glenn Gould, who played like a god but who destroyed his body.


Edited by Gary D. (05/02/09 02:31 AM)
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#1191591 - 05/02/09 02:53 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Gary D.]
keyboardklutz Offline
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The drumkit teacher at school is quite famous. Has written drumkit tutors, an autobiography and worked with all the 'greats'. He has a pronounced 'stoop'! You're right Gary. I teach students how to sit, stand and walk. Here's something that needs re-making: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDjBsOkidek
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#1191603 - 05/02/09 04:18 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: C.Y.]
landorrano Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
I am not interested in the debate about which finger shape is proper for beginners. I am just wondering how teachers define curved fingers? Does it look like the figures in Piano adventures books or the one called curved fingers by keyboardklutz in that thread?


Originally Posted By: C.Y.
should I consider changing my son's teacher who teachs the curved fingers in PA books?


Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
And yes, I'd change teachers.





And now you're going to junk your boy's teacher because of what you read on a forum. Great stuff, Mom.

You guys are great, without ever seeing the kid or the teacher or anything ... you ought to start an internet course so that all the parents can put their kids under your expert direction.

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#1191605 - 05/02/09 04:40 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: landorrano]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Ask a silly question...

Though seriously, I would dump any teacher who does the 'hold a ball' thing.
_________________________
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#1191636 - 05/02/09 06:32 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Offline
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Kbk, as I understand it, you are giving advice on an instrument that you have not studied, and this is serious when you appear to be doing it as a teacher so that your word holds authority. My concern is for the reader. In this post:
the post you write:
Quote:
I learned to play the violin in the last few days.

That was written a bit over a week ago.

I have no interest in getting into a debate about violin technique with you. Nor am I an expert in such. I am more concerned about anyone reading the advice we find here. Previously you wrote about pictures of L. Mozart. You did not specify which. The most well known picture shows him crossing his feet at his ankles, leaning over to one side to some degree, his violin pointing down toward the floor at an angle. That was a common way of playing the violin at the time, and the music allowed for it. Which picture will the reader look up and find? Thank you for posting the pedagogical picture which shows better form.

The violin at the time of Mozart had a neck set at a different angle. The strings were gut strings and so were not as hard on the fingers and needed a different touch. Violinists of modern instruments going Baroque and wanting to play on period instruments have to relearn their touch and technique. The bow had a totally different construction and was therefore held and used differently. The written music rarely demanded shifts beyond third position, while modern music will have the violinist shift rapidly from a high position to low. This again has implications on form and technique.

That is still all book knowledge. The proper person to advise about violin technique is someone who has completed their studies under a competent teacher, and/or plays well, and/or is an experienced teacher. In the very least, as I do in every one of my posts, it should be stated "I am not a teacher of this instrument" or "I am still learning to play this instrument". In fact, if I go to a violin forum, my advice consists of four words, "Get a good teacher."

I am concerned about what people may be picking up from this board, and what will happen with that. Even if posted correctly with expertise and experience, it can be misunderstood. Caveat lector, of course. But in the least, we should make our backgrounds clear, for the sake of the reader.


Edited by keystring (05/02/09 06:34 AM)

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#1191644 - 05/02/09 06:41 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: C.Y.]
keystring Offline
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Loc: Canada
CY and anyone - do not make decisions about your child's or your own teacher based on what you read on the Internet. If you do have concerns, consult with a live teacher who can observe the student first hand. Even if something posted here is correct, it can be misunderstood, or may not apply to a particular student in the way you think. If your child is doing well, enjoys his playing, is getting along with his teacher, seems to sound decent for his level, then maybe there is no problem. If there seems to be a problem many people do resort to the Internet to get extra information. It can be valuable if used judiciously.

Best wishes,

KS

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#1191658 - 05/02/09 08:08 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring

That is still all book knowledge. The proper person to advise about violin technique is someone who has completed their studies under a competent teacher, and/or plays well, and/or is an experienced teacher.
You'll have to point out where I 'advise' on violin playing, I must have missed that post. So far your only contribution has been a smattering of misinformation. Please save same for your violin forums!
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#1191663 - 05/02/09 08:29 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Offline
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Terminology such as "smattering of misinformation" or "ridiculous" are great devices in debates because they set up inuendo and impressions. You win the debate.

As to where you advise - Mainly at the point where CY asks about the left hand of the violin. I refrained from answering, but then you did. The whole topic is ill advised.


Edited by keystring (05/02/09 08:53 AM)
Edit Reason: additional paragraph

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#1191664 - 05/02/09 08:31 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Let me say that my posting has been completely misunderstood by Gerry and by C.Y., if not by others.

I can't understand how someone can get so opposite to what I said.

I am saying very rounded knuckles - what we call in the US "curved fingers"....I don't use the word "curled".

Then from Antiquity, Baroque and Classical where the curved finger has it's advantages, we move to less and less curved until fingers are shaped pretty much in the natural way they hand at your sides, cupped palm, but you do not have to do anything to cup them, they are natural.

I can't waste my time posting when there is so much misinterpretation. I caution anyone from trying to make sense out of this topic and it's evolution.

I do know my posting was as good as I can do in this subject, but with a lot of non-teachers with little experience on the piano, it has been come a hopeless thread.

I also object to the inclusion of the violin techniques talked about as the holding of the violin has nothing to do with a piano hand.

This whole topic and it's direction is an embarrassment in the Piano Teacher's Forum.

I understand that interpreting langauge is a challenge, but if you know you have that challenge in the first place, perhaps the best and only recommendation is that the OP talk with the teacher at depth. This topic has not helped him.her it has confused someone moreso than originally.

I would erase my participation from this topic if I didn't feel I had done a good job of posting. I also think it's usually self-serving to remove a post in it's entirety - so I'll try to forget what I now think has been a very bad experience.

When searching for good information, consider the messenger and the message. If you are a novice, you are not going to know if it is good advice or bad advice you have received.

Betty Patnude


Edited by Betty Patnude (05/02/09 02:09 PM)
Edit Reason: type

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#1191680 - 05/02/09 09:11 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I would be interested in hearing what kind of imagery and exercises kbk uses with his students to develop a nice hand shape and strong bridge.
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#1191738 - 05/02/09 11:30 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: landorrano]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: landorrano

And now you're going to junk your boy's teacher because of what you read on a forum. Great stuff, Mom.

You guys are great, without ever seeing the kid or the teacher or anything ... you ought to start an internet course so that all the parents can put their kids under your expert direction.


I was just kidding when I said changing teachers. I guess it's not funny and everyone thinks I was serious. I tried to edit my post to add a smiley or add "I am kidding" at the end, but somehow in this thread I don't see the edit button under my own post.
But thank you and keystring for your concerns. And by the way I am not a mom.

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