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#1650279 - 03/29/11 01:45 PM Sustaining one finger
Gisele Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/09
Posts: 158
Loc: Schenectady, Saratoga Counties...
My 10 year old student started a series of finger exercises where he needs to sustain the same finger in each hand while playing with the other 4 fingers. i.e. this week he will be holding down both thumbs, next week both #2's, etc.

I like the exercises because those patterns are seen often. However, I don't think he'll be able to play them hands together. He'll need to hold down one finger in each hand while the other fingers are going in separate directions. I don't want him turned off finger exercises by these pieces yet I still see them as necessary.

Have you ever just had your students play one handed exercise for you even after playing for 2 1/2 years? Or do you think I need to push harder and make him try both hands? I don't want to scare him!

Gisele Sum, gsum82-piano@hotmail.com
Piano and Theory Teacher
Principal Church Organist and/or Choir Accompaniment

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#1650299 - 03/29/11 02:20 PM Re: Sustaining one finger [Re: Gisele]
danshure Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Have him do one hand, and I like those types of exercises (holding down one finger while playing others) but I'd be careful pushing him too much. If done wrong they can cause some problems. There's nothing wrong going hands separate. Maybe he'll be comfortable in the future hands together.

Also, ask yourself, what's the goal of the exercise, what's the desired results? And could you achieve that result with a modification of the exercise, or a different exercise altogether?
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#1650353 - 03/29/11 03:35 PM Re: Sustaining one finger [Re: Gisele]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
If you can tell in advance that it's going to cause him problems, then hold off until he can do one hand really comfortably. It's better to set students up for success than to discourage them. He's still young and, especially with young boys, sometimes finger coordination can be difficult for them and is simply beyond their control/developmental readiness.
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#1650383 - 03/29/11 04:28 PM Re: Sustaining one finger [Re: Gisele]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13330
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Hands separate work is something that even concert pianists do, so it is another tool one can use to isolate and work out technical issues. Definitely have him do separately until he is comfortable, maybe a week, then work hands together - SLOWLY.
private piano/voice teacher FT


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