Correcting a Student's Hand Position

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Correcting a Student's Hand Position

Post by maddietortellini »

I'm a college student giving flute lessons while still in school for a music education degree. I ran in to a problem in teaching last week and cannot find a way to fix it! I have a high school student who holds her open hole flute with her right hand tilted off to the side, maybe at a 45 degree angle counterclockwise from parallel. This poses problems when trying to access the extreme low register, as her ring and middle finger do not cover their respective key holes when trying to play, say a low C. I am trying to get her to keep her hands from turning in and have her wrists at more of a natural angle. Also, she puts so much pressure on her fingers that her joints collapse in to the keys. Whenever I try to attempt a change, she always complains that her arms/wrists/fingers hurt when put in a new position. She has no known conditions that (should) prevent her from holding her flute correctly, yet complains of pain. I'm not sure if this "pain" she speaks of is the slight discomfort of trying something new or true pain, but she is not the type that easily verbalizes her thoughts and feelings in order for me to really understand what she is feeling. I am cautious of creating an injury by changing something incorrectly, but also aware that how she currently holds her flute may cause injury down the line as well. Any ideas on how to fix this????

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Re: Correcting a Student's Hand Position

Post by stephaniemoore09 »

Hello there,

What has helped me in correcting my right hand position (I also have a slight angle that I am trying to fix) is to have your right hand fingers on the keys, and then as they are pushing down onto the keys, have the student move the pinky and try to press down the first tone hole on the foot joint. Have them repeat this step until they can produce a low C#. This will prove to be difficult because it forces you to straighten your hand and will help increase flexibility in the pinky. Also, for hand position, try checking out Jennifer Cluff's blog. She has a great post about right hand position and pinky problems :)

Hope that helps.

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Re: Correcting a Student's Hand Position

Post by Gandalfe »

Love this solution and will try it with my daughter. It just makes sense.
Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra ~ Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns
I played the wrong, wrong notes. ~ Thelonious Monk

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Re: Correcting a Student's Hand Position

Post by ambren »

Step Five: The wrist should be relaxed and level with the hand. To find the ideal position, hold your fingertips on the surface of the keys while maintaining the firmness of the knuckles of the hand. Move your wrist upwards and downwards and notice the tension created by having the wrist be either too high or too low.

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