Many students struggle with the task of coordinating their hands, especially as they move in different directions at different times and with different placing groups. If you find yourself in a stuck place with the piece you’re learning, don’t just keep “trying” to make your hands work together. Instead, try one of these magical techniques for laying down the pathways in your brain and body that will help you, not only with this piece but with those to come.
Assign one part of the music (either hand) to another part of your body. Sing it, tap it with your foot or on your lap, or say nonsense syllables (doo bee doo be do) that fit the music while you play the other part on the harp. You may feel silly, but you will make more progress this way than you can imagine.
Try tapping the rhythm of each part with your two hands, on your lap (no harp required).
Or, tap one part with one foot, and one with one hand. Cross your body; in other words, use your left hand or foot for the right hand part and vice versa.
While we’re on the subject of crossing, try simply playing the right hand part with your left hand (alone) until you can do so relatively smoothly, and then learn to play the left hand part with your right hand. If you’re really brave, you can try them together, but this isn’t necessary.
Now, after all the crazy experiments, put your hands together as originally intended and see what happens!
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This post is adapted from material that I originally published in the ezine, Notes from the Harp.