So many kids
hate playing piano with their left hand (and thus with both
hands) that I often have to
issue a mock-note from their doctor, saying that they are
allergic to left hand.
All this comes
about because one day I asked a child why she didn�t want to
play with her left hand. She said, �I�m allergic.� So
after that I ask if they are allergic, and then we write out a
funny note from the doctor.
began to study kids and their reaction to the weaker, less
dominant hand. Even
if their left hand is their �dominant� pencil hand, they
have to start playing the piano with the right hand, so the left
hand becomes the �wrong� hand in terms of the piano.
that if I did not insist on left hand, the child developed many
skills very well with the right hand alone, and felt very
secure. Giving the child this bastion of skill and security in
the right hand for a long while turned out to be a very wise
with embracing the left hand (and the act of using both hands) is partly due to the two hemispheres of the brain
being still separate for many functions in many children,
especially those who are younger.
Playing the piano may
be, for many children, the first time their two brain
hemispheres are really called upon to interact.
with two hands requires both hemispheres, kids who have more
separate hemisphere functions (younger kids or kids with other
issues) are physically and mentally
uncomfortable trying to put the two together.
riding a bike, it�s very easy once you have tried it for a
is to first find arrangements and songs that have both hands
playing, but not at the same time. This way the child has to
call upon the hemispheres sequentially, not simultaneously. This
practice accustoms the child to the sensation of two-brained
thinking and acting, as it were.
simplify left hand parts drastically, on the theory that any
skill with both hands is better than none. And it works well.
Just keep casually insisting on that first left hand note. After
a while the child does not feel so awkward with the left hand
and begins to grudgingly adopt it equally. But let them set the
pace in the adoption process.
All of the
above refers to purely physical actions, not to the act of
reading music, but a similar regimen works wonders with the
reading of music, too.
Teach the child
the first five right hand notes from Middle C to G, in Piano by
Number that is 1,2,3,4,5. Then
allow the child to explore left hand in a very leisurely
fashion, at first only identifying the first C below Middle C,
which I call low C in our child�s nomenclature.
The child will
resist reading left hand like a trip to the dentist, so make it
short. Later, when you have done the introductory left hand
games many times, the child will see that it is really quite
easy. They won�t be as comfortable with left hand music
reading, but if you are gently persistent, you can at least
break the �curse� of left hand difficulty.
Attempt to make the child realize that left hand
music reading is annoying at first, but not impossible, for
everyone and not
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