If you approach
it properly, children actually like fingering. For those who do
not know, fingering is the process whereby a certain finger is
chosen to play a certain key. It is the secret to playing
quickly and accurately.
children are annoyed by fingering, and want to return to the
anarchy of playing with any finger at all, which is fine to
start with but soon becomes awkward as the complexity of the
quickly see that a clever usage of fingers is easy to
accomplish, and as long as the song is simple enough, they are
able to keep their fingers in a row, the standard position.
But the truth
of professional pianists and fingering is that there are many
ways to finger a passage of music.
concepts of "correct" fingering is merely a jumping off
point, for real pianists are forced to devise unusual fingerings
of their own, based on the basic principles but often breaking
children are familiar with the "rules" (all the fingers in a
row) they are ready to start using their brain.
assuming a child can grasp the rules of fingering, it is
acceptable for them to use the fingers in a row, any row.
If a child uses
the fingers in a row, not just one finger, I praise them even if
they are not using the "correct" fingers.
Why? Because to use the fingers as a group in ANY
configuration shows that the child is becoming aware of both
fingering and their fingers.
I offer the
alternative of the "correct" fingering, and show it to them,
but praise them for being creative and showing initiative.
You would think
that kids who are allowed this leeway would become erratic
perpetrators of horrible fingering practices, but strangely
enough this approach makes them interested in the "science"
of fingering, producing better fingering skills because the
child is thinking.
And there is
another added benefit to this approach: continuity.
piano involves both painstaking stop-and-go work, and also the
opposite approach, where one simply keeps going no matter how
many mistakes one makes. There is no other way to learn how to
play continuously. If we stop for every little mistake, the
child becomes frustrated and bored.
learns to be aware of their mistake, but to keep going since a
lost fingering is a small matter in the larger scheme of things.
and pointing out their bizarre fingerings, keep showing them the
correct position, but don't be negative or insist on
perfection right away.
child to experiment with their fingers is the first step in
gaining control of the hand, and increases their awareness of
their fingers in general.
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