TEACHING Piano Adventures®

Rounded Hand Shape

Lesson Book page 4

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  1. Put your left (or right) hand straight out in front of you. Which finger is the longest? The shortest?
  2. We can do a magic trick to make all the fingers the same length. (Demonstrate a curved hand position.)
  3. Curve your fingers to make a C. Now your fingertips are in a line. Magic!
  4. Imagine you're holding a small round apple over the keys. Drop the apple gently. Now wave goodbye to the keys. Let your wrists flop.
It's easier to set the standard at the outset than to undo bad habits later.

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Technique & Artistry

p. 3 Let's Learn About Technique

Piano technique means skill. This page compares piano technique to a basketball player dribbling, a ballerina leaping, and a painter making brush strokes. Piano technique uses the muscles of the fingers, wrists, arms, and torso.

p. 4 Five Secrets for Piano Technique

The opening pages of this book show five technique secrets for this level. These are used as warm-ups throughout the book.

Remind students to "hang loose" at the keyboard.

pedagogy pointers

Developing a curved, natural, and relaxed hand position is an important first step in shaping a student's technique.

It will take many reminders before this hand shape becomes second nature, but the sooner the process is begun, the better the chance of succeeding.

It is far easier to set the standard at the outset than to undo bad habits later.

It is equally important to help a student develop a flexible wrist. Analogies like waving goodbye or shaking drops off the fingertips are easy ways to introduce this concept.

Gentle reminders combined with careful observation (on your part) will help foster a natural flexibility.

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see it in action

Teaching Video 2

Our fingers are all different lengths, so we need a way to make them equal over the keys. If your hands form the letter C, they'll be in a soft, round shape and your fingertips will all line up. Patrick discovers this simple magic trick and can quickly see that it works. With a steady, cheerful accompaniment to make it fun and musical, he can play the Open-Close game.

Pretending to drop something onto the keys releases the wrist so it can flop. Waving to the keys is another gesture that encourages the hands to "hang loose". Patrick's on his way to being a "natural".

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