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#1192507 - 05/03/09 01:22 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Keystring has never misrepresented her background, qualifications or experience here. I have high regard for her contributions; even if she's not a piano teacher, her insight and perspective are remarkable.

Maybe it's time for another debate about whether participation by non-teachers is valued—or even welcomed at all—in this subforum.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1192510 - 05/03/09 01:26 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: sotto voce]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Keystring has never misrepresented her background, qualifications or experience here. I have high regard for her contributions; even if she's not a piano teacher, her insight and perspective are remarkable.
One person's treasure, another person's trash. Fair dues.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1192514 - 05/03/09 01:29 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Keystring has never misrepresented her background, qualifications or experience here. I have high regard for her contributions; even if she's not a piano teacher, her insight and perspective are remarkable.
One person's treasure, another person's trash. Fair dues.

That's right, and the fairness of that dictum is that it applies to all of us equally.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1192517 - 05/03/09 01:34 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: sotto voce]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
As far as I'm aware my 'comments in no way reflect the opinions or views of Piano Teacher's Forum'.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1192518 - 05/03/09 01:38 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11657
Loc: Canada
This topic is too important to start going ad hominem. I request that we go back on topic.

Best wishes to all,

KS

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#1192519 - 05/03/09 01:40 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13778
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The title of the forum suggests topics, not participation requirements.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1192532 - 05/03/09 01:58 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: keystring
Since I am a teacher,
Could we at least have the requirement that declaring yourself a teacher actually means piano teacher (at least in the piano teachers forum)? It's just I feel concerned the student readers will be misled into damaging ways!

Come on Kreisler, Yes we can!

_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1192540 - 05/03/09 02:21 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Oh, my goodness! It's getting to be feisty!

Yes, it is often problematic to me to have anyone but a teacher in the mix in the piano teacher's forum. My main interest is to co-mingle with piano teachers, as you might expect. My secondary interest is to contribute to things that pianists and learning pianists might be discussing. Both of these things are within my preparations in music teaching.

I have benefitted very much from keystrings presence in the forum, and I think many other people have, too. At the same time some of the things we've been involved with together are over the level that she is at in her piano studies, but that doesn't matter to her, she is a curious and conscientious learner. I appreciate that very much.

At the same time, sometimes we get into little "rambles, push and shoves" in the piano teaching forum because of someone posting who doesn't have a clue as to what is being said, has an agenda themselves, and just enters to put teachers in the corner, so to speak. I think overall there is a lack of respect toward teachers in the forum, so many are quick to make an insult, or to tell you that you are wrong, wrong, wrong. And, then you discover this person is in their Adult 1 book, or maybe has had lessons for a few months. That has been my experience for the past month or two. To be told off, insulted, or laughed at is not any of our dream come true.

There are a few teachers posting who I think need more training, and there are some teaching with very little training, admit it, and do it anyway, saying how much they are earning while offering only a specter of services. If money were my basic interest I could do that too. However, I believe in music education, and that is a different story.

The older, experienced piano teachers on the forum really seem to have pride and accomplishment as their highest agenda - things transpire in their studios for the highest good of all.

When I, and teachers like myself, get caught up in this under current, we are not able to communicate with our teaching associates without it being misunderstood and being offensive to others. When we take a stand and say what we think, we think we are good good, reliable advice. We say the things no one wants to hear.

Intelligence is needed on the piano teachers forum - it is the place we speak from. If it sounds like a foreign language sometimes, it is.

Keystring has a tempered presence and she is the first to thank and respect the people who add to her knowledge. She also is persistent in coming to a conclusion on a topic. As she says, it's how she approaches things, and I think she becomes content when there has been agreement and information shared in topics.

The harder situation to post in is the one where there is difference of opinion that has come to push and shove. There have been several topics which I just have to walk away from, but not without saying so. There is hope where intelligence is present, ignorance does the exact opposite.

Keystring did post about consider your sources carefully, and I join in that warning. There is a lot of information out there which just plain misleads and defeats us.

If you don't want to be a sucker, you are going to have to eliminate the jokesters, the ignorami, the irritating, and the pontificates who want to rip off a piece of your mind and impede your progress.

Tolerance? Acceptance? Or time to vote with your feet?

I've faced that decision more than once.

PS: Do I have any friends left?

Betty Patnude

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#1192547 - 05/03/09 02:30 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude

PS: Do I have any friends left?
I'll always give you a hug!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1192580 - 05/03/09 03:30 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Yes, it is often problematic to me to have anyone but a teacher in the mix in the piano teacher's forum...

If you don't want to be a sucker, you are going to have to eliminate the jokesters, the ignorami, the irritating, and the pontificates who want to rip off a piece of your mind and impede your progress.

Tolerance? Acceptance? Or time to vote with your feet?

I've faced that decision more than once.

PS: Do I have any friends left?

Betty Patnude


Who gets to decide who is irritating, Betty? smokin

The question of who is "allowed" to post in the teacher's forum has been debated several times. The last time it was debated, IIRC, the owner of this forum weighed in and said that the teacher's forum is open to everybody. This conclusion, incidentally, was consistent with the sentiment of the vast majority of teachers who post regularly on the forum. I don't see any need to revisit it simply because Betty would prefer to toss out everybody except teachers. Oh, wait, she wants to throw out teachers who don't meet her training requirements, too.

This is an internet forum that is literally open to the entire world. As long as people adhere to the forum rules, which imo everybody posting on this thread has done thus far, you can't prevent people from posting.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1192724 - 05/03/09 06:51 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Monica K.]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I must admit that people consider me irritating from time to time - but it's always for a good reason in my mind that I am irritating. Irritating is not part of my personality by the way, it's part of what I say that no one wants to hear or deal with.

The piano teachers forum gets diverted by the freedom of anyone wanting to post anywhere. Instead of having topics that are of interest mainly among ourselves, we get demolished by questions that people in general ask of us, but answering those questions is a big effort because the same question comes back, give it a few days.

Everyone likes us as a resource to an important question they have, but the answers are in their own teachers, or in the book, too.

No one likes to have a correction made, or a comment that is well understood by a teacher, degenerated by a learner who thinks he's qualified to enter into a teaching discussion among teachers.

Don't you have a teacher's room on campus and student's don't frequent it? Of is that just in elementary school and junior high from days gone by? Do any visitors on campus come through your private space? Do the students collect there? Who goes in the teachers room, or the teachers bathroom. Is there any unspoken rule to that, or do you have a sign on the door?

In deciding who is irritating I only look at the examples of their path through PWF and the most concern goes to those who interact with me. Monica, you would be at the top of my list.

No sooner do I say my opinion, and there you are, picking on points that I have made and dissecting the hell out of it. And, as soon as you are done, along comes another person who does the same. You work in teams! Do I find that irritating...you betcha.

I have high expectations for piano teachers to do excellent work - if you are not a good pianist - you are not going to have much to teach. Every body and their brother are teaching piano for extra income but what I expect from that is that they will grow in knowledge, self discovery, and abilities and be able to become the best teacher they know how to be. In some postings, it is clear when someone does not have the strengths of a piano teacher - it is even more clear when situations they describe are not being handled according to professional standards - this all counts in our industry. I'm irritated when someone dons the title of piano teacher and then does the minimum of being one.

I know lots of piano teachers who study constantly to learn how to teach - learn about the brains capacity and order - learn how to work with special needs - whatever it takes to meet the needs of our students. Reading, meetings, ambition.

I'd like the piano teachers forum to reflect those kinds of things, and sometimes it does. But we constantly get interrupted, and a topic goes sideways before vering off totally.

Monica, I consider your post part of a long series of expressing your disdain for me. This is again one of those opportunities for you. I am as calm as a cucumber while writing this by the way, it has nothing to do anger. It is explanatory in purpose and defensive in nature. Pointed irritation.

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#1192727 - 05/03/09 07:15 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5921
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
The piano teachers forum gets diverted by the freedom of anyone wanting to post anywhere. Instead of having topics that are of interest mainly among ourselves, we get demolished by questions that people in general ask of us, but answering those questions is a big effort because the same question comes back, give it a few days.

There is no obligation on any of us to answer questions. We don't need to wear ourselves out by trying to do this. If you find it too much, simply ignore the question.
Originally Posted By: Betty

Don't you have a teacher's room on campus and student's don't frequent it? Of is that just in elementary school and junior high from days gone by? Do any visitors on campus come through your private space? Do the students collect there? Who goes in the teachers room, or the teachers bathroom. Is there any unspoken rule to that, or do you have a sign on the door?

This is not a private space. Anyone in the whole world can read it, and anyone who is registered can post here. If the forum rules are being broken then report the post to the moderator. If a post annoys you, you are free to ignore it. In fact, if a poster annoys you, you are free to put them on your "ignore" list.
Originally Posted By: Betty
No sooner do I say my opinion, and there you are, picking on points that I have made and dissecting the hell out of it. And, as soon as you are done, along comes another person who does the same. You work in teams! Do I find that irritating...you betcha.

If you feel you are being unfairly targeted, then again, report the post to the moderator.
Originally Posted By: Betty
I'd like the piano teachers forum to reflect those kinds of things, and sometimes it does. But we constantly get interrupted, and a topic goes sideways before vering off totally.

Not only the teachers' forum, Betty smile Have you spent much time in the pianists' corner? And as for "interruptions" - well, once again, any member is free to post. You can't really have an "interruption" in this forum format can you? These aren't private conversations.

I suppose the main point I wanted to make is that we can't change the rules as they now stand (I personally don't want to, but that's beside the point) - but we also don't have to make a rod for our own backs by feeling obliged to deal with every question that comes up.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1192728 - 05/03/09 07:15 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Betty Patnude]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I have to say that of all the forums in which I participate, this one has BY FAR the most sensitive, judgmental, and ornery people.

Seriously? What does ANY of this have to do with C.Y.'s question?

Just because one is a piano teacher it does not mean they know everything there is to know about it! That's exactly why people come here, isn't it? To get help/opinions/ideas from other people? Just because we ask a question that seems obvious to some, doesn't mean we are "inexperienced" piano teachers. Just that we have run out of ideas.

Where is the harm in letting students participate? Everyone has something to offer, we don't know which answer is going to help the original poster. A piano student could very well be a master in something else that can correlate and help too.

It is really annoying to try to read the posts and the answers when there is so much "I'm right, you're wrong" going on.

Can't we please just stick to answering the questions at hand, and not pretend we know more than the other guy does??
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1192903 - 05/04/09 03:01 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4783
Loc: South Florida
(This is not a response to kbk. The current set-up automatically is linking to him.)

Let me sum up my own points, in the hope that somehow this derailed thread will get "back on track".

There is absolutely no way to know, for sure, which teachers know what they are talking about, and which do not, and parents looking for a good teacher will always need a good bit of luck along with some very good advice to choose a teacher wisely for their children. The same is true of adults choosing teachers for themselves.

When we look at vidoes of young prodigies, it is easy to be impressed by the fact that they sound good. It is easy to discount minor weaknesses in their performances and simply attribute them to youth. In some cases weaknesses are indeed reflections of a "work in progress" and will be taken care of. In other cases, we are already looking at fatal flaws that will magnify over time and may cut a potential playing career short due to physical injury.

Some people play with glaring physical problems and yet have long careers because they are exceedingly lucky. They just have good genes. For instance, we can look at Richter and assume that his physical habits are what made him a colosal virtuose, a true titan, and when a human being can produce the results he got, it is pretty hard to do anything but just watch and listen, open-jawed, and figure that if we could just play as he did, we too might sound like him.

But I think Richter is a bit like a very old man who, when asked the secret of his longevity, answered: "Two packs of cigarettes and a fifth of whisky each day."

Before anyone even thinks I may be saying anything negative about Richter, the player, I'm not. But I think that anyone who tries to play the way he played would destroy his body. Gould? Even more so. I think that about half of the greatest pianists around play *in spite* of some very bad habits, not because of them. Or at the very least, they have personal habits or quirks that work for them, as individuals but that would not work for anyone else. We all know about how many young pianists ruined themselves trying to imitate Horowitz, and I'm totally convinced nothing in Horowitz's playing did anything to harm him, personally. Now think about people imitating Lazar Berman, who already looked like a hunch-back as a fairly young man. Think of any of innumerable young artists immitating any number of players who sound great but play with contortions. To me this is terribly frightening.

In a thread like this we are concerned about what will enable young players to play very well, now, but we should be even more concerned about what the habits they are absorbing now will do to them in 10, 20, 30 years, and that means avoiding physical habits that do damage.

In light of that, we have to consider any amount of finger curvature—or lack of it—by looking at each student as an individual, then watching, almost every moment, to see what is happening, then we have to watch the rest of the body. Of course the goal is to get great sound, which means speed, power, lightness, control, a million other things, but I suggest that there are many ways to get all the things that we value in the greatest of players either with a terrible phyiscal price, or without it. So at any moment, what that fingers are doing, what they look like, is just part of a much larger picture.

This is *huge* and is fundamentally beyond the scope of a forum such as this to explain in a practical way. The best we can do is to link to videos of people who play in a way that is extremely efficient, sane, non-damaging to the body and that enables these players to get beautiful results, point these people out as possible examples of what and what not to do, and hope it gives people who are learning some clues.

But even here we run into a paradox. Would it help to watch Tiger Woods win a major championship in order to develop an idea of a basic golf swing? Should we watch a famous home-run hitter to develop a mechanically sound baseball swing? How much can we learn by watching champions?

I think the answer is that champions learn from watching each other, but if the rest of us need to "take a lesson" from them, we have to get them to show us elementary movements. But even if they consent to do this, are they still doing the same things right? Or might they "dumb-down their own skills", in an effort to make things elementary, in a way that no longer authentically represents what they do best? How often do great players (athletes or pianists) have a talent for transmitting what they know to people who are working on an elementary level?

So can we learn a lot from watching great performers? In general, I don't think so, not if we are not on the same level, or close to it.

Should anyone here trust me, or anything I'm saying here? None of you have heard me play. None of you have seen me play. You haven't seen or heard my students. Maybe I really know a lot. Maybe I am full of wind.

Finding a good teacher, in the end, is largely a matter of luck. I would only say to the OP that when a young player seems to be doing very well with a teacher, when there is a fit, when reading is taking place, when there is enjoyment, when a whole number of positive things are happening, moving to another teacher because of advise given in this or any other forum not only may not result in a better teacher, it may very well result in trading a fine teacher for a much poorer one.



Edited by Gary D. (05/04/09 03:07 AM)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1192907 - 05/04/09 03:31 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Gary D.]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I think the answer is that champions learn from watching each other, but if the rest of us need to "take a lesson" from them, we have to get them to show us elementary movements...

...So can we learn a lot from watching great performers? In general, I don't think so, not if we are not on the same level, or close to it.

Should anyone here trust me, or anything I'm saying here? None of you have heard me play. None of you have seen me play. You haven't seen or heard my students. Maybe I really know a lot. Maybe I am full of wind.
That's so right. Good teachers learn from each other and are also quick to spot a fake. Sadly those that are all full of wind blow the inexperienced off the map!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1192909 - 05/04/09 04:01 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5459
Loc: Orange County, CA
Wow...this thread really got derailed...

To answer the original question--

The pictures in the Piano Adventures book show the index finger touching the thumb. To me, that is curled. I do not play with curled fingers, nor do I teach curled fingers. I teach a relaxed, natural hand shape/position.

If you drop your arm freely to your side, your fingers are naturally curved, but your thumb is about an inch away from your index finger. I keep that natural shape when I play the piano. Most of the time, I play with the "pads" of the fingers. I come closer to fingertips when I play scale passages and fast runs.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1192913 - 05/04/09 04:19 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: AZNpiano]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
The pictures in the Piano Adventures book show the index finger touching the thumb.
Thanks for that. Now I see. Agree with you 100%.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1192989 - 05/04/09 08:59 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13778
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The point of the index finger touching the thumb is simply as pedagogical exercise for avoiding collapsed joints.

Something missing from the current discussion is that many people do not have the strength or muscle tone necessary to maintain the kind of slight curvature we value. In the early stages, investigating a slight curl can be helpful in building up the muscles necessary for a slight curvature.

The authors of Piano Adventures are not suggesting that you play with curled fingers as per their diagram, they are simply suggesting that it may help build strength in the finger joints.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1192996 - 05/04/09 09:10 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
It's not lack of strength (the long flexors are made to hold your body weight) that breaks joints but lack of coordination. Will somebody please post the pictures?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1193004 - 05/04/09 09:21 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Kreisler]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The point of the index finger touching the thumb is simply as pedagogical exercise for avoiding collapsed joints.

Something missing from the current discussion is that many people do not have the strength or muscle tone necessary to maintain the kind of slight curvature we value. In the early stages, investigating a slight curl can be helpful in building up the muscles necessary for a slight curvature.

The authors of Piano Adventures are not suggesting that you play with curled fingers as per their diagram, they are simply suggesting that it may help build strength in the finger joints.

Kreisler,

I'm not grasping why strength or muscle tone would be necessary for the slight curvature. I thought it was the default conformation of the hand at rest or in repose, and as such wouldn't require any special effort. (I imagined that it's curling the fingers or flattening them that takes work!)

Could you elaborate?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1193027 - 05/04/09 10:15 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: AZNpiano]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

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

The pictures in the Piano Adventures book show the index finger touching the thumb.

If you drop your arm freely to your side, your fingers are naturally curved, but your thumb is about an inch away from your index finger.


I don't have the books in front of me right now, but I don't think the pictures in 1 and 2A books show the tip of the index finger touching the thumb's tip.

Actually for my hand, it is also about 1 inch between the index finger's tip and the thumb's tip, this is how I feel the relaxed, natually curved fingers are like. (The finger's second joint is about 110 degrees open)

keyboardlklutz's curved fingers (looks flat fingers to me) is at least 2 inches between the the tips of the thumb and index finger. (The finger's second joint is at least 160 degrees open)

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#1193033 - 05/04/09 10:35 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Gary D.]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Finding a good teacher, in the end, is largely a matter of luck. I would only say to the OP that when a young player seems to be doing very well with a teacher, when there is a fit, when reading is taking place, when there is enjoyment, when a whole number of positive things are happening, moving to another teacher because of advise given in this or any other forum not only may not result in a better teacher, it may very well result in trading a fine teacher for a much poorer one.


Hi Gary,
Thanks for your suggestion. I have said I was just kidding about the changing teacher thing, I think I know better than that, please don't worry about it.
I have to say your other post about your personal experience dealing with tension is great, thanks for sharing it with us.
Do you think by posting video clips on youtube and ask teachers in the forum to evaluate would be helpful? I will never encourage him to be a pro musician, just want music to be part of his education. I certainly don't want my son to have tension problem that could bother him when he is older.

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#1193048 - 05/04/09 11:11 AM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: C.Y.]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11764
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Keep in mind, people that every has different lengths of fingers & thumbs. My thumb comes up to the 2nd joint in my index finger, and I noticed a student of mine's only comes halfway up the first half of her index finger. So talking about curvature with regards to relation to the other fingers is somewhat erroneous.

Also, speaking of curvature in degrees is not a universal thing. I play with flat fingers sometimes, a slight curve with others, and still more of a curve in other passages. It really depends on the context as to what is appropriate.

Lastly, when dealing with beginners, it is better to err on the side of more of a curve, because they will tend to collapse the fingernail joint and/or play exclusively flat fingered. Asking them to play with more of a curve can help counter this. This is *not* damaging because one can curve the fingers without being overly tense, and I am careful to be sure this is the case. As the ligaments in the fingernail joint get stronger and the student becomes more aware of playing without collapsing the joint, they are just about at the point of playing larger intervals (6ths & higher) which require a flatter hand to execute.
_________________________
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#1193071 - 05/04/09 12:00 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
It's not lack of strength (the long flexors are made to hold your body weight) that breaks joints but lack of coordination.
And that includes ligaments.
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http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1193079 - 05/04/09 12:20 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Oh, my, I've been missing all the fun. smile

I see we've extended the curved/curled discussion and thrown in a peck of controversy and attitude. smile

Please carry on. I was definitely interested in the "technique" question in the the other thread as there seems to be many schools of thought regarding technique and piano action adjustments.
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#1193179 - 05/04/09 02:39 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: sotto voce]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13778
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The hand at rest doesn't have to support the weight of the arm. While playing, however, the fingers and hand do have to support the weight of the arm (albeit for very short amounts of time), and that requires a certain degree of muscle tone and strength.

Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The point of the index finger touching the thumb is simply as pedagogical exercise for avoiding collapsed joints.

Something missing from the current discussion is that many people do not have the strength or muscle tone necessary to maintain the kind of slight curvature we value. In the early stages, investigating a slight curl can be helpful in building up the muscles necessary for a slight curvature.

The authors of Piano Adventures are not suggesting that you play with curled fingers as per their diagram, they are simply suggesting that it may help build strength in the finger joints.

Kreisler,

I'm not grasping why strength or muscle tone would be necessary for the slight curvature. I thought it was the default conformation of the hand at rest or in repose, and as such wouldn't require any special effort. (I imagined that it's curling the fingers or flattening them that takes work!)

Could you elaborate?

Steven
_________________________
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#1193185 - 05/04/09 02:46 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: Kreisler]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The hand at rest doesn't have to support the weight of the arm. While playing, however, the fingers and hand do have to support the weight of the arm (albeit for very short amounts of time), and that requires a certain degree of muscle tone and strength.
There's no beginner that needs that kind of strength.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1193211 - 05/04/09 03:28 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13778
Loc: Iowa City, IA
To clear up some things, I've started another post in which I link real pictures of the Piano Adventures method along with some commentary.

All are welcome to voice their praise, approval, disapproval, or disgust under that topic as well!

laugh
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1193734 - 05/05/09 12:31 PM Re: What's your definition of curved fingers? [Re: keystring]
Binchois Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/09
Posts: 15
I think it's fair to say that an "ideal" yet natural "handshape" is very dependent upon the pianist. Further, we can identify changeable wrist-, hand-, and finger- attacks which are purely situational and which will surely influence his or her "optimal" handshapes (now plural).

When beginning, I prefer to emphasize the point on the fingerTIP from where the key should be struck - being sure the student is playing neither on the pad of the finger (flat) or on the nail (over-curved or curled).

Ask the student to support his or her arm-weight on the tip of one finger and they should easily realize the advantage of NOT playing on the pads. This is especially important on the 5th finger which many beginners will strike from the side (despite having ostensibly curved fingers).

"Handshape" or "curvature" will follow from this naturally - frequently with no further emphasis.


Edited by Binchois (05/05/09 03:37 PM)

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