Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, pianist, piano, piano arpeggios, piano lesson, piano scales, piano teaching, piano technique, playing piano, practicing piano, rolling forward wrist motions in piano playing, Shirley Kirsten, teaching piano to adult students, teaching piano to adults, undulating wrist in piano playing

Piano Technique: An adult student works on rolling forward wrist motions in Two, Three, and Six-note groupings (Video)

This particular student has come a long way in the six years we’ve worked together, and as always been the case, I’ve probably learned more from her than in reverse.

From my second piano, I can gaze over at my pupil sitting at the grand and grasp a whole body in-motion perspective of her playing. From this vantage point, I can observe any tension in the arms, wrists, etc. that may be impeding fluid phrasing.

Universally, students tighten wrists and don’t allow them to naturally move forward in a flexible motion. And unfortunately, finger strength can’t compensate for stiff wrists, or tightness anywhere along the whole arm spectrum.

Today I chose to spend a good chunk of lesson time ROLLING THE WRIST forward over two-note groupings, then three and finally six. (one can consider 8th notes for this exercise, and when rolled in three, we are thinking triplets. The sixes would double the triplet 8ths, though a teacher can pull back or adjust the tempo as indicated.)

The Video

We worked on freeing the wrist using the B minor Arpeggio as our springboard.

We also interspersed this practice with single-note, roll-forward wrist motion.

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