Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Appreciation of the Hand

HandsCentral to our lives as pianists is the health and fitness of our hands, as well as their connection to the rest of the body, both at the piano and away from it. Frances Wilson at The Cross-Eyed Pianist has written a wonderful appreciation of the hand:
As a pianist, one is constantly aware of one’s hands, checking them, massaging them, drumming the fingers, playing a silent keyboard on a table top or one’s knees when away from the piano. We are aware, too, of the arms, shoulders and back. An injury higher up the arm, in the shoulder, neck or back, can affect the health of the hand too (as I found to my cost, and considerable pain, before Christmas when I damaged my left shoulder playing Rachmaninov too energetically). If you’ve had an injury, you become hyper-sensitive to the slightest twinge or ache.
Because of the sensitivity of feeling in my hands, I can't stand wearing rings, which cause me to endlessly fidget with them. The toughest thing about winter in Ontario is dealing with the dry air, and trying to keep them hydrated enough to stave off cracking skin, but dry enough so to get a good grip on the keys. Always a challenge.

Do you have any interesting hand idiosyncrasies or stories? Leave them in the comments.


  1. I am very flattered that you quoted from my post. Many thanks. Frances

    1. Frances, your blog is amazing! I'm filling out the questionnaire asap...