I use various motions extracted from daily life to teach fluidity in piano playing. In this particular example lifted from a lesson-in-progress, Ilyana, 9, applies a door knob-turning gesture to smooth out a passage from William Gillock’s “Splashing in the Brook.”
It’s also helpful to enlist mental imagery to capture the mood of a composition. In this case, the composer has the piece’s character embedded in the title.
In the videos attached, I emphasize a “playful” scene and a “rippling” brook. The water image, in particular, softens the impact of the opening measures. A contrasting pair of FORTE measures, follows with a wave-like motion.
Extra-musical suggestions go a long way to improve technique and musicianship. They frame the music with something bigger than the narrow goal of playing the “right notes.”
In so many words, the joy a student derives from playing the piano comes from his imagination springing to life.