Why are movements sometimes large at the beginning?
February 27, 2012
For pianists with a history of isolated finger technique, a temporary “training wheels” stage of large rotation may be a necessary step to experience freedom of the forearm and hand. For others, it can be more effective to immediately begin training with smaller movements.
Emphasising the forearm’s role reconnects the forearm with finger movement and releases the tension accumulated by isolated, raised finger technique (Taubman Institute, 2003, see DVD 2). As soon as is appropriate, the movements are gradually minimised, at which point they begin to feel much more natural. That is hugely enhanced when the minimised rotation is combined with other movements such as shaping, in and out, and the walking hand and arm.
Taubman Institute. (1995). Virtuosity in a box: The Taubman techniques, Vols. 1-5. [DVDs]. Medusa, NY: Taubman Institute.