Kid’s fingers question

Need help with your young piano student or maybe just like to share the joy?

Postby bellamom » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:41 am

Would someone please give me any suggestion for my son’s piano lessons?

My 6 years old son took one semester of group piano lesson (group of 6 kids), now he is taking a private lesson (4 times so far). After all these class, his fingers are still flat, and his thumb is always out of the piano keyboard. The private teacher said it’s not right, but it’s ok, he could still play. I am guessing that my son didn’t get what the teacher’s explanations of how should his fingers play on a piano. A friend of mine told me that maybe the teacher is not the right teacher for my son, go look for another teacher. But I don’t know how to say that to my son, nor do I know how to tell the teacher that we are leaving. I also think maybe my son is just too stubborn, he doesn’t have the talent to play piano; maybe I should not waste our time and money. Should I go ahead and quit my son’s piano lessons?

Thanks for reading my post J
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:11 pm

Does your son enjoy playing? If he does, continue. He is young, hand position will come. If he enjoys playing, he will work on certain areas, as needed.

Don't be in a hurry to change teachers. If your son likes her, he will listen and learn from her. If at the end of the 'piano year', you do not feel your son is learning and enjoying music, you can certainly talk to the teacher and your son and explain why you feel a change is necessary.
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Postby presto » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:17 pm

I'm not an expert, but I have done some substitute teaching for kids around your son's age and older, and I've noticed that at six years old they can't really control the shape of their fingers too well yet. It's all they can do to use adequate force to press down the keys sometimes, let alone work on how their fingers should be. So I don't bother them at that age about that. I give tips and guidance on that subject to those who are older and more able to understand and follow my instructions, and therefore control and correct the situation. In your case, I would advise you to give it time.

Another thing is that I've noticed some teachers place far too much emphasis on curving the fingers, telling kids to hold their fingers in almost a "C" shape. I used to do that, following the instructions of my teacher. Then, recently, I got a new teacher, who has 30 years of experience and is also a concert pianist, and he told me my hands were like claws and I should flatten out my fingers, and that the only curve in them should be the natural one, as in what you see when you hold your hand in the air, in a straight position, but relaxed. (Though sometimes, he added, you might need to curve them more than that in certain situations, depending on what you're playing, but in general, they shouldn't be too curved.) I went home and tried it, and in one day, a piece I had been playing for years sounded better and more professional, it was easier to play, and I had more control! So maybe that's something your son's teacher might not have realized.

But going back to what I said earlier, it's possible that he's simply too young to take care of that detail of technique, and with time, he'll be able to fix it. I also think that your decision about whether or not to continue the lessons should be based on your son's desire to play. If he likes his lessons, then it would be a sad thing to make him quit. If he has absolutely no interest in them, then perhaps you'd be better off finding something else for him to do that he enjoys. But there are cases where kids were forced to take lessons when they were young, and ended up being grateful for their parents' insistence when they were older--and wiser, I guess! Clearly, it's up to you to judge that.

I hope I've been of some help. :)
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:56 am

If your 6 year old son is enjoying the piano by all means continue. There is so much one can learn through music. Fingers are not crucial at this young age.

As a Mother of three and a grandmother of four I have seen all the joys and life long interest that music brings. It stimulates our mind and explores our emotions.
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