The Problem of Hands Together Coordination
More and more, I am noticing my students struggle to play the piano with both hands, and don looks of frustration when they realize that knowing how to play hand separately, does not always translate to playing both hands. Since most books have beginner piano players start with one hand at a time, it is not uncommon for students to have little idea and experience on how to approach music that has notes in both clefs at the same time.
What Can Help?
- Scales– This can not be stated enough! If both hands have dexterity, students are more likely able to tackle two-handed songs. Essentially, we should feel free independence in both hands. This is of course a life long journey of learning! Therefore, it is never too soon to start playing scales.
- Games/Exercises– Sometimes, a song is too hard to tackle immediately. Some simple exercises, can get the student internalizing more the feel of the piano and the spaces of the keys and notes. Andrea from Teach Piano Today outlines her tips in her blog post addressing this problem. Andrea also states the importance of isolating rhythm to help the student learn the song
- Practice Hands Together– It’s the most obvious and easy answer! It is a very special skill to be able to interpret two separate lines at the same time and all pianists work to continuously refine this skill. Well practicing one hand at a time is a great way to learn notes, it can not work on the coordination of the two hands. Making mistakes? That is part of it! Don’t worry too much.
While most people agree that practice makes perfect, we often forget to iterate that practice time is imperfect. Let yourself make mistakes! It is completely okay to.