Hi Everyone! Here’s another quick video tip for helping your piano student find their beginning hand position. More ideas below, too!
There’s basically three pieces of information you need to know, to find your beginning hand position.
1. HAND (right or left)
2. FINGER (which number)
3. NOTE (note name and which one on the piano)
Most method books show beginning hand position with either a diagram or with “1 on __” under the first note of the song. But sometimes this is too confusing and abstract for students.
My method below, is to show student how to take the erroneous “1 on __” and turn it into a sentence. A sentence that makes sense, and they can say aloud to themselves, almost as a command, telling their fingers what to do.
The sentence is:
Put your ______ hand, __ finger on __.
An answer would be: “Put your right hand, 3rd finger on G”. They should say this aloud, like they are telling themselves what to do. You’ll want to of course do this for each hand.
Seems simple, yet can be a powerful way to make beginning hand position a bit more tangible for the confused student. And its really helpful for songs with unusual hand position, like “Let’s Play Ball” in the Primer Piano Adventures, for example.
This little tip assumes they are already comfortable with figuring out which hand to use (top or bottom staff), what finger numbers mean (1 is thumb) and how to read a note and assign it to a key on the piano. By separating hand position into three elements in a sentence, this can serve to isolate which part may be an obstacle for them. (If they have trouble with any one of these components, work on it separately before returning to this activity.)
As always, please comment and let me know what you think… thanks!!