My students are struggling when comes to play arpeggios where they have to stretch their fingers out widely. I have discovered some tricks to help students in practicing the arpeggios
1. Being an octopus
Demonstrate to students how octopus arms reach out the piano keys widely.
How this work: Help student to imagine their little fingers act like octopus arms when playing arpeggios.
2. Create a keyboard layout
Rather than showing the student the scales book, I usually let the students create the scales book themselves. Have the student find the major or minor triads which are the basic formation of arpeggios. At that point, ask them to use the highlighter to shade the triads on the blank keyboard layout. Students feeling satisfies upon completion of their own customized scales book.
How this work: Students are able to visualize the distance between each key through the keyboard layout besides learning how to find the triad themselves.
3. Colorful sticky tag
Keeping in mind the final goal is to help students to estimate the distance between each key, I let them use the colorful sticky tag to paste on the piano keys. I even write down the fingering on the sticky tag to help them remember the fingering pattern.
How this work: Using three different colors to represent the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of the triad help student to estimate the distance of each note at the same time to reinforce the fingering number.
4. “Food” arpeggios
Categorize the arpeggios into various junk food according to the same fingering pattern is one of the useful way to help student to memorize. Make use the food to represent the pattern of each grouping.
Ms Liew Hui Jie
A passionate full time piano teacher in Singapore, with great ideas about how to ensure that students start with learning, playing and finally loving the piano.