What part of the body is playing the Piano?

I think its a common misconception that the fingers play the piano. We speak of our fingers getting tangled up, the fingering is wrong in this passage.

In actual fact, though, the fingers aren’t what’s playing the piano. The BRAIN is.

{yes, I’m being a bit overblown here. Hang on for a minute.}

Think about it – if I’m having trouble fingering a particular passage, it generally isn’t because my fingers CAN’T play it correctly. It’s actually because my brain hasn’t been given enough time to get the fingers in place in time. If I slow the tempo down enough, I can play it.

So what?

This fact should change your approach to practicing. Practicing is NOT about repetition, getting through a piece, etc. It’s really about training your brain. Troublesome spots (consistently troublesome, not the “brain blip” kind where you mess up because you were distracted) are an indication that your brain hasn’t been adequately trained to play that particular passage. This should cause you to stop and think about what you need to do to get the training “upstairs”.

….. which will be the sucject of the next post.

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