Demonstrate to learners the phrasing implications of particular choices of fingering, e.g. how the phrasing for a series of couplets might be achieved by the repeated use of the same pair of fingers.
Supervision of fingering is important, at least in the early stages of learning, in order that unhelpful habits are avoided.
With learners, identify passages in which fluency depends upon comfortable and organised fingering. Provide a solution to use as a model.
Show learners alternative fingerings for a given passage, discussing the musical outcomes.
Encourage learners to adopt careful practice strategies that reinforce considered and consistent fingering, e.g. short groups stopping on a particular finger or beat of the bar.
Demonstrate and explain exercises that address the particular challenges encountered when tackling scales hands together, e.g. stopping at the half-way point in two-octave scales.
Point out that in the majority of major scales starting on white keys, at the half-way point, 4 goes over in the left hand ascending, and in the right hand descending.
Ask learners to identify scale patterns and apply them with increasing independence to other keys.
Show learners the physical movements required for smooth thumb passing in hands-separate arpeggios/arpeggio figures, paying due attention to the thumb, wrist, arm and elbow.
As always, learners should be encouraged to develop aural discrimination as a way of checking how successfully this is being done.
Explain and demonstrate comfortable fingerings for three- and four-note chords. Ask learners to incorporate these into their practice routines.
Issues such as the size of learners’ hands and stretches between fingers need to be taken into account.
Provide learners with simple fingering solutions for ornaments and ask them to practise exercises based on ornamentation, e.g. repeating a mordent, starting on the successive notes of a scale.
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