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Topic: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?  (Read 2325 times)

Offline mass

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Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
on: August 18, 2005, 09:19:17 PM
I'm an adult beginner student and am having a "discussion" about this.  Are you "forbidden" to look at your hands?  Are you discouraged from looking at your hands or is it perfectly ok if necessary.  Thanks!

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #1 on: August 18, 2005, 09:43:43 PM
Well, unless you have someone over your shoulder yelling at you...then nothing is forbidden...

Performers look at thier hands...

Here's the thing. If you get into the habit of relying on seeing your hands, then you will suffer greatly in the area of reading. Reading will be a Head-bobbing, neck-craning, eye-aching, hassle.  Learn to feel relative intervals with your hands and you will be a much better reader.
"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline raffyplayspiano

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #2 on: August 19, 2005, 12:36:48 AM
When i play, there are certain parts that I have to look at my hands, maybe if there is a big leap or something of the sort.  However, I try to play as much as I can without looking because if you get used to looking at your hands, your sight reading wont be as good.  makingf yourself play without looking at your hands (in myopinion) will eventually allow you to memorize the keyboard, and focus more on the reading, rather than the hand placement. 

however, this is much, much easier said than done. 

just my two cents.   ::)

raffy
**Raffy plays the piano**

Offline jamie0168

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 01:25:14 AM
I look at my hands quite often. I've never had a teacher or professor tell me that I shouldn't. I agree with jeremyjchilds. Unfortunately, I've developed some bad habits of putting the sheet music away for good after I memorize the piece. I'm very good at memorizing. However, since I do this so often, my sight reading sucks! So much that I hate accompanying people because it involves so much reading. There's nothing wrongwith looking at your hands, but don't let it turn into bad habits.

Offline hazypurple21

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #4 on: August 19, 2005, 01:29:08 AM
I'm very good at memorizing. However, since I do this so often, my sight reading sucks!

Wow, sounds like me. ::)
"There is one god-Bach-and Mendelssohn is his prophet."

Offline leahcim

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #5 on: August 19, 2005, 01:44:20 AM
I'm an adult beginner student and am having a "discussion" about this.  Are you "forbidden" to look at your hands?  Are you discouraged from looking at your hands or is it perfectly ok if necessary.  Thanks!

I do lots of things [typing, making cups of coffee, some piano playing] without looking and fairly subconsciously that weren't preceeded by a period of consciously feeling for the fridge or piano keys to avoid looking.

Typing was similar in the sense that those trying to teach seemed to insist that learning required you to not look with the premise that if you did, you'd have to learn without looking [and the keyboards tend to have raised plastic ridges on J and F I guess for feeling] - but I managed somehow without typing rows of klklklkl too, just typing words like wot we all speak  and c code etc :)

That said, others may beg to differ [and have more experience] - and obviously a piano isn't a computer keyboard.

Offline Bouter Boogie

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #6 on: August 19, 2005, 03:35:33 PM
I'm not forbidden to look at my hands, but I do have to pay attention that I won't look at them the whole time.. It would distract my mind from the music, you see.. (That's what my teacher says :))
"The only love affair I have ever had was with music." - Maurice Ravel

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #7 on: August 19, 2005, 08:33:45 PM
Wow, sounds like me. ::)

(Regarding having strong memory, but poor reading)

A large number of students find themselves in this position...

Look at it as an adventage! If you were to spend one hour each day for a year learning to read eficiently, you would be unstoppable
"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline Tash

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #8 on: August 20, 2005, 01:09:27 AM
i've never been told not to look at my hands, except possibly when i first started learning and kept apparently memorising the music and looking at my hands, which apparantly was not the point of what i was meant to be doing...but apart from that, i really dislike looking at the music as i find it distracting so tend to look more at the keys, not necessarily my hands, like it's kind of vague i'm not really focussing on what it's doing, or sometimes i'll just look up over the piano at whatever.

but funny thing, back when i was like 13 i had a friend who was pretty good at the piano, except she had this crazy thing against not looking at the music- like she had this massive rant at me how if i ever taught kids i'd teach them wrongly by telling them to look at their hands instead of the music. i was like what, and still am, i really don't know why she had such a thing against it?
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline Siberian Husky

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #9 on: August 20, 2005, 01:44:20 AM
i ALWAYS look at my hands..i can play ALMOSt as good when i dont..of course i stumble sometimes simply because imnot looking but i dont rely on my looking at the hands..i enjoy it..to me..if i dont look while i play..well thats like...not looking at your delicious food while eat..or not looking at your partner during sex (sorry about that analogy it just parallels too perfectly for me) etc etc etc

didnt you also make THIS post thread, mass?

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,11838.0.html
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Offline ako

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #10 on: August 20, 2005, 07:47:15 PM
This is interesting. I never thought of looking at your hands has to do with sight reading abilities. Let's put that part aside for now.

Looking at your hands is essential in finding out what you're doing wrong. For me, if there's a fast passage that I just couldn't get through, most likely my hands are doing something strange that is causing my stumbles. By realizing what my hands are doing, I can correct it or find a way that will work. Sometimes, your brain thinks you're doing one thing but your hands are actually doing something else, that's a good place to look at your hands. Also look at your hands to see if there's a way that the notes will feel more secure under them or to prevent injuries in large chords. Since I have small hands, I look at my hands quite a bit when practicing to make sure the fingering makes sense to my hand size to make sure I won't hurt myself.

Offline quantum

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #11 on: August 20, 2005, 08:22:21 PM
I find that when I look at my hands, memorizing goes a lot quicker.  I've always been a good memorizer, but recently have improved my sight reading enough to play without looking. 

I now find I have two different modes of operation, depending on what is necessary at the time.  Looking at hands for good memorization technique, not looking at hands for good sight-reading.  I guess I can see a usefull purpose of both techniques.  It all depends on what you need to do at any given moment. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline gorbee natcase

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #12 on: August 20, 2005, 10:14:22 PM
When i play, there are certain parts that I have to look at my hands, maybe if there is a big leap or something of the sort.  However, I try to play as much as I can without looking because if you get used to looking at your hands, your sight reading wont be as good.  makingf yourself play without looking at your hands (in myopinion) will eventually allow you to memorize the keyboard, and focus more on the reading, rather than the hand placement. 

however, this is much, much easier said than done. 

just my two cents.   ::)

raffy
I agree ray charles for example
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Offline thorn

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #13 on: August 22, 2005, 05:24:48 PM
I alternate between the two, which does sometimes cause problems with sight reading, but has the advantage of being able to memorise things easier.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #14 on: August 24, 2005, 12:34:24 AM
This is the rule i tell my students: When sight reading DONT LOOK, when memorising ONLY LOOK.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline mass

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #15 on: August 24, 2005, 11:18:37 AM
This is the rule i tell my students: When sight reading DONT LOOK, when memorising ONLY LOOK.

How about after you've memorized a piece?  In addition to sightreading, I've been practicing not looking when playing memorized pieces. I think it's helping aurally as I'm not looking at my hands or a score and can really listen and feel the intervals and jumps (although I'm missing many of the jumps...::)). My teacher is very focused on not stretching but rotating and I can also concentrate on that when playing pieces already memorized.

Offline gruffalo

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Re: Are you 'allowed' to look at your hands?
Reply #16 on: August 24, 2005, 01:34:17 PM
This is interesting. I never thought of looking at your hands has to do with sight reading abilities. Let's put that part aside for now.



offcourse. not looking at your hands is vital. i am an experienced sight reader, and thats not because i practice it a lot, i dont really have time, but i just find that i can do it. and i hardly look at my hands because what i find im doing (without thinking about it) is looking always a bar or two ahead. i dont know if having perfect pitch helps me sight read. can anyone answer that for me.

but not looking at your hands is vital. from time to time you do because of tricky bits.
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