All piano students have heard time and time again in one way or another, “round the hand,” or “hold the ball,” or “don’t let the house fall on the mouse!” There is no doubt that structure is one of the single most important “pillars of technique,” as Dr. John Mortensen calls it in his YouTube videos on this topic. He has a simple and effective way of explaining the importance of hand structure and the kinesthetics involved in creating the most effective hand structure for playing the piano.
Take a look at this short and informative video:
Personally, I cannot stress enough the value of learning proper piano technique. It seems there is more awareness and education on this area than I can remember during my years learning to play in the 80’s and 90’s. I wonder if Mozart or Beethoven ever thought or had discussions surrounding these topics? Or were they so in tune (pardon the pun...) with their body that they were ultimately kinesthetic learners, and trusted what felt good and healthy to them.
I have two reasons for making this a constant area of learning and research for myself both as a performer and teacher. One - it simply makes me a better player. Two - it prevents the injury that can suddenly creep up on you after years and years of bad habits. Playing the piano is a repetitive task. We want to repeat good, healthy movements and not ineffective, unhealthy ones. It’s like a soccer player who repeatedly uses the correct technique for kicking a ball and ends up making the pass or scoring the goal. Or a ballet dancer who practices the proper hand and arm positions to develop graceful movements. Learning the "what" (type of technique) and the "why" (the science behind it) will assist all types of performers to do their best in a healthy and effective way.
I hope this little snippet helps you look at piano technique as an ever-important basis for learning to play the piano healthy and well. Practice on!
P.S. Stay tuned for some fun piano techniques to add to your practicing.