Clean Up Your Hand

Every child has been told to clean up their toys. I use that analogy to get Gabriella to "clean up her hand" when she finishes playing a phrase. She is typical of a student who has multiple hand issues: collapsing joints, over-involving her entire hand in every task to name just two. (In this example she is supposed to be playing all quarter notes, though that rhythm is also not evident.)

I let everything else go and work on this one concept. By holding her 5th finger down while moving the rest of her hand into position, she also strengthens the outside of her hand. I find that this simple "game" becomes an automatic part of their playing within a few weeks. 

It's tempting to try to work on everything at once, or to keep piling on instructions too quickly. Instead, pick one specific part of a wobbly hand position and address just that. Notice that Gabriella says, "Clean up your toys," when asked what she's doing. It's a stickier way to describe this activity it than to say, "Please exhibit fine hand position!"

Do you have a student who might need to clean up their toys? 

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