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#26906 - 01/15/01 09:46 PM Bouncing Wrists
Julie2 Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/11/01
Posts: 127
Loc: Champaign, Illinois
Is bouncing wrists bad? I had several students that would bounce their wrists on every note. I didn't say anything about it at first because I thought, "Better bouncy than stiff." They were totally relaxed while they were playing, and were getting a good sound. I started trying to get them to have a more legato wrist when we started talking about phrasing and passagework (not necessarily at the intermediate level, this could happen at the beginning levels too). I would then have them do a down-up motion with their arm/wrist, which would make it necessary not to bounce on every note, but to combine a group of notes.
My question, more succinctly, is: has anyone ever found this bouncing wrist to be detrimental to a student in the long run?

#26907 - 01/15/01 10:25 PM Re: Bouncing Wrists
Jason Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 2019
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Bouncing wrists pretty much make speed, fluidity, and legato impossible. I don't generally encourage it.
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

#26908 - 01/16/01 09:02 AM Re: Bouncing Wrists
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
I don't know how much bouncing you're talking about, but I'd much rather see a bouncing wrist than a stiff one.

#26909 - 01/16/01 03:54 PM Re: Bouncing Wrists
Jalapeņo Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/04/00
Posts: 5712
The young beginner easily understands natural techniques. I explain to my students that their hands are like "large spider bodies with five spider legs that move easily from one key to the next." I encourage them to let their wirsts bounce a little as they play. I use the word "bounce" repeatedly to explain a flexible wrist, and I find that children understand this concept. I have them pretent that they are marionettes with their hands held by strings. As long as their wrist joints are supple, their fingers will fall naturally into place.

Source: Playing the Piano Naturally by Vicky King, Conners Publications.


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