Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Finger Trampoline

I recently was inspired by a post  by Andrea and Trevor Dow on "Teach Piano Today" about making this simple "amazing fingercise cup" to help improve finger strength.  I promptly constructed one with the tools I had on hand, and my curious kids were anxious to get there hands on this new "toy."  They love the sound and were intrigued by the different pitch of the sounds of varying sized cups. My mind started spinning with additional uses. At our last group lesson we changed "Don't Clap This One Back" to "Don't Pluck this one Back."

Don't "pluck this one back
My first attempt several years ago with a young beginner trying "Cookie Dough" (a finger # practice song from My First Piano Adventures) began with an awkward finger depressed into a ziplocked ball of cookie dough.
It looked much like the "wrong" picture below, full of finger tension and flying fingers. The fingercise cup made me think of the analogy of fingers dipping gently tip first into a trampoline while the other fingers line up beside as spectators.  After my daughter used this to teach one of her new students this week, her student actually chose the "finger trampoline" over candy as her end of the lesson prize!  It was the perfect tool to introduce the technique and practice finger patterns for her assignment to learn "Firming up my Fingers."

It can also be used as an "off the bench" tool to prep students for playing chords with a flexible wrist As they prep by just dipping the 2nd or 3rd finger into the "trampoline" they can feel the relaxed wrist dip as their finger sinks down.

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