Yesterday during Sergei’s piano lesson, we were working on C chords. Forming chords is a new concept to him, and when he was having trouble getting his 2nd and 4th fingers to stay out of the way, I introduced him to the pencil trick.
I’m not sure where I came up with this idea, but I’m positive that there are others out there who use it as well. As silly as it looks, the “pencil trick” really does help my students get the hang of playing chords.
Sergei was more than happy to serve as my hand model for the photo above, though just a few moments after I snapped the picture, he was ready to put the pencils down and play his C chords without them. Success!
Do you have any funny-yet-helpful little tricks like this that come in handy with your students? My motto when it comes to teaching is whatever works — no matter how seemingly ridiculous or silly. Long live the pencil trick in my studio ;)