Yes. Yes, it does. Do students sometimes look at you with disbelief or "slight" annoyance when you make a big deal about how to sit at the piano? I have discovered that a bit of playfulness and measurable evidence go a long way in convincing students to make the effort consistently. The younger students have great imaginations and respond to creative play. I found a few round stuffed animals (practice buddies) that fit nicely under the palm of the hand, creating a lovely curve to the hand and fingers. The students even remind me that we must never squeeze too hard or our practice buddy could get hurt. Another idea, for the younger students is to pretend that a tiny family lives under the hand. If the wrist and hand drop, the family gets squished! The older students respond the best to the evidence collected during model/listen opportunities, and self recording. When a student is requested to find the better sound, it seems easy for them to choose, especially if someone else is the performer. In addition, video and audio recording students while they play provides evidence or proof that the sound improves when correct hand position and use of arm weight occur. This is a great tool to use to help parents become more involved and supportive during "at home" practice sessions.
Karla Wakeen, owner/instructor Purple Keys Piano Studio in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Karla Wakeen is a showcased La Crosse, WI music lesson instructor on TryMusicLessons.com!