This lesson is a typical lesson in my studio. Nothing special, nothing unusual. A little glimpse into a Wednesday afternoon at my studio.
“These 5ths and 6ths are confusing,” said Dora. “I’m never sure whether to open my thumb or my pinky.”
Seeing the opportunity to show how I teach this important concept, I asked Dora’s Dad to grab the camera and document our lesson about how to correctly open the hand to play a 6th.
It’s possible for a student to play the correct notes, but have everything else about their hand position be problematic. As you watch this video, you’ll see me gently correcting details about Dora’s finger placement. This is where the seeds of good chord playing begin: before one even plays a chord. The most important thing about playing any interval is where the 2nd finger goes.
As you watch this video, watch Dora’s reaction to my goofy excursion into hand-shaking. Do you think she’ll remember it?
It’s important to take the time to explain exactly how hands work. How and why we open our hand a particular way. If you’re looking for a method that has wonderful information like this built right into it, you might want to investigate Piano Town.
No matter what materials you use, be sure to encourage healthy hand position from the beginning. Any students you know who could use a little work on their second fingers?
In Level Two of Piano Town, we introduced 6ths in the healthiest and most successful way. Here’s an excerpt from the first page of the book.