FINGER STRENGTH AND INDEPENDENCE USING A TELEVISION
television? Are you crazy?
nineteenth century, the golden age of piano, the great piano
teacher Franz Liszt suggested that students practice finger
exercises while reading a book.
The reason for
this is that finger exercises are a BORE, repetitious by nature.
In fact, it is the repetition that makes them effective.
But Liszt was
suggesting that finger exercises could be made more palatable by
taking the mind off them, since only the fingers are really
I applied this
idea to the modern age, and for years have had a television
mounted on a piano so that I can amuse myself while my fingers
works better than any strength regime I have used, primarily
because it is enjoyable and endurable.
I use foreign
films and sitcoms. Remember that it will be hard to hear the
audio track over the racket of the piano.
are useful because they have subtitles so that I can follow the
plot. I hate subtitles normally because they distract me from
the picture, but for finger exercises they are perfect.
useful because they run 22 minutes, without commercials, and I
have found that is about the maximum time I can stand playing
But the result?
Rock hard finger strength that lasts and lasts.
Here is my
A session is
about 15-22 minutes long. I play one hand at a time, using a
Hanon exercise. Hanon devised a set of finger exercises whose
success equals the boredom they produce, but using this method
there is no boredom.
While one hand
plays the Hanon exercise, I put the opposite hand into a stretch
position, using the exercise developed by the world's greatest
pianist, Vladimir Horowitz. Click here to read the article TECHNICAL
PIANO EXERCISES OF VLADIMIR HOROWITZ: STRETCHING
strengthens the ability of the fingers to move "sideways"
and the Hanon strengthens vertical movement of the fingers.
is to alternate the hands: while the left stretches, the right
plays Hanon. While the right stretches, the left plays Hanon.
There is no wasted time.
Try this in
15-22 minute sets, and you will see immediate results. And the
result is cumulative very quickly.
Even a single set a day will produce results. Try three or four
sets throughout the day, and you will see spectacular results.
that concert pianists are like gymnasts, with a finely tuned
physical technique that must be forever maintained, like a
method is the first step to being a real pianist and being able
to enjoy playing much more.
You will find
that difficult passages are suddenly easier, even without
specifically practicing them, for your entire mechanism is
strong, making difficulty easier to bear.
And if you
devote a few minutes a day to this, you will quickly find your
piano technique taking a great leap forward.
Who would have
thought that LEAVE IT TO BEAVER would have a use for pianists?