Hand independence on the piano is the ability to play using both hands in such a way that they seem to be working independently of each other. This means one hand is playing certain keys while the other may be moving rapidly up and down the piano to hit other keys. Many piano teachers see hand independence as a fundamental skill, but it’s not always easy to learn. Young players may especially have a hard time with it. Here are a few tips that may help them master hand independence.
Practice New Pieces that Require Hand Independence
Practice is truly the only way to get better at playing the piano and at hand independence. Your child’s piano teacher will provide them some songs during their piano lessons in Atlanta that focus on hand independence, but you can always find more. By practicing songs that require your child to use their hands separately, they will slowly get better at it. Playing new pieces also helps them improve other skills and keeps practice from becoming too boring.
Have Your Child Practice Pieces they Enjoy
If your child likes the music they’re playing, they’re going to enjoy learning it. Find some music that your child enjoys and suggest they work to learn it. They may already have some songs they want to learn. While it’s true that some songs require more hand independence than others, almost all music for the piano requires the player to use their hands independently in some ways.
Sometimes, it can even help to have your child go back and play some of their favorite songs they’ve already mastered. Changing up their routine helps keep their skills sharp, plus it never hurts to recall how to play some of their favorite songs.
Introduce them to a New Style of Music
Your child may become fairly comfortable with the style of music they’ve been playing. By switching it up and introducing them to a new genre or style of music, they can improve their playing. That’s because different styles require different skills. Some naturally require more hand independence, while others may be faster or slower than what they’re used to. Different styles of music can be challenging, but they also help switch up the pace. Just like trying new songs, your child may find that trying different styles keeps practice fun.
In the long term, being familiar with different styles of music can be incredibly helpful. It makes your child a more versatile player, and they may find that there’s a call for certain styles more than others. If they want to make a career out of their piano playing or even use their skills in a side job, expanding their knowledge of musical styles and genres is very helpful. It’s also important for them to play styles of music they don’t like. They may not enjoy these styles, but they can learn from them.
Encourage Them to Improvise
Playing piano isn’t about just playing sheet music. It’s also about improvising. Encourage your child to play around and make up their own melodies. Improvising helps them think about music in a different way than playing from sheet music does. Give them challenges that involve playing with both hands independently. Your child may have a lot of fun playing around like this. They could even take one of their favorite songs and change it up or mash up two different songs!
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