Piano Street Magazine

What is Left to the Right?

March 26th, 2009 in Piano News by | 5 comments

The list of famous left-handed pianists is a who’s who, from 20th-century legends Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein and Glenn Gould to today’s keyboard masters Daniel Barenboim, Radu Lupu, Leif Ove Andsnes, Steven Blier, Richard Goode, Helene Grimaud … and many more.

Pianist Russell Young, director of Kennesaw State University’s opera and music theater program, believes being left-handed is an advantage for pianists.
‘You read music from the bottom up on the printed page,’ he says. ‘Once you have the bassline down you get a more solid idea of the foundation and chord patterns, since the top lines [for right hand] are often more free-form melody.’
Young also suspects that lefties have a learning advantage.
All piano students must overcome the two hands’ resistance to work separately; by having to work harder on what’s essentially a right-handed instrument, the neurons of left-handed pianists get an extra workout and thus grow stronger.” Samuel Wang, professor of neuroscience at Princeton University adds, “Pianists must coordinate the activity of both [brain] hemispheres, since each hemisphere is responsible for a separate hand.”

Read more at ajc.com


  • Lostinidlewonder says:

    I disagree.

    Taught/teaching plenty of people piano who write with their left hand and they have no advantage over those who do not. The piano generally requires the utilization of BOTH hands and we do not consider each hand totally independent of the other, they depend on each other.

    So if your Left hand is stronger it will help you solve your right, if your right hand is stronger it will help you solve the left, solving the left stronger than the right offers no more or less advantage compared to being able to solve the right stronger than the left.

    I know right handers who find playing with the left on the piano easier, and I know left handers who find playing with the right easier! My father is right handed but paints with his left and plays sports with his left. So what about these people?

  • piano_vs_science says:

    i found this article on cracked.com about why being left handed sucks, and i would rather slightly suck at piano than have a higher chance of dying

  • Senan says:

    I don’t think its so simple, be right or left I think what matters is the amount of passion and dedication you put to it. Also on another note I find that because left is normally used for bass only and the bass patterns are often repeated, arpeggios, chords, etc its actually easier.

  • Joebee says:

    No one knows everything so there is no need for offence if we hear something which is contrary to what we think. One day you may hear the Good master say ” You were correct ” or “you were wrong” but there is no need for us to feel insecure or offended by what we hear. It may turn out to be ‘true’ / ‘false’ one day. Just be humbled by the fact that no one knows everything.

  • Moma says:

    My daughter’s grade 8 music teacher is deducting marks if she plays with her left hand singularly. She plays much better with her left hand than right. I feel this is discriminatory and she should not be penalized. Am I correct in this assertion?

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