You hear it all the time from us Piano Teachers, “keep your fingers curved”. This article talks about tips and tricks and why we say that!
Sometimes I feel like the phrase I repeat the most in a lesson is “curve your fingers.” I truly feel like a broken record at times! “Curved Fingers”
When teaching piano lessons there are many fundamentals that we focus our attention on. One of the most basic is having a nice curve to our fingers while playing, and also strengthening those finger muscles so that the fingers stay close to the keys while another finger is playing. Here are some fun techniques I use to reinforce.
An example I like to give is students is to think of holding a water balloon in their hand and then
turning that hand upside down and onto the keyboard. This achieves a nice hand formation. Keeping that formation is a different story! The tendency to play with flat fingers is more pronounced in some students than others, but it is something that can be learned by all.
Recently during an in home piano lesson with a student he had a light bulb moment. When he started playing a sharp-which was a fairly new occurrence-he said, “Oh, this is why you curve your fingers!” Yes, that, and several other reasons, but it was a great thing to see a piano student figure some of it out on his own.
Bring Your Fingers Together to Form Curved Fingers
There’s also a practice technique I like to share with kids. The best part is they don’t have to be in front of a piano to practice it. The picture to the side shows how its done. 1st bring your index finger to your thumb, then your middle finger to your thumb, then your ring finger and lastly your pinky.
What this does is strengthens the tips of your fingers so they don’t collapse. When you press the two fingers together you’re training them to feel pressure and stay curved.
Don’t Smash The Orange
My last example to teach students is to pretend like they are holding an orange. You want to hold it so it wont fall but not tight enough to squish it. If your hand is flat the orange will fall, so if it looks like you can hold an orange, you can play the piano correctly.
My continual repetition of a phrase, or instruction on many of the basic proper techniques in piano are truly there for a reason. Good habits at the beginning of piano lessons makes for easier transitions into all the harder things to come! With music, all light bulb moments are so very welcome.
Take my advice, work hard and early to make those fingers obey the curve. Trouble with the curve?? No way!!