Kids need constant reminders. You can give them the clearest of instructions for home practice and they will forget every word before they leave your studio doors.
While you are sharing the secrets of the piano world, they are paying attention to your earrings, the fly on the wall, the truck that drove past your window, or a leaf spinning from a branch.
So, as their teacher, you must assume that they heard nothing… and then provide them with home practice tools that will remind them of the wisdom you shared in lessons.
Today we have created one such tool: finger exercise bookmarks.
When it’s time for your students to practice at home, these handy little tools, in addition to marking pages, will remind them of five finger exercises to perform before they hit the piano.
Warming Up With Bookmarks Before Home Practice
Every home practice session should begin with technical exercises. But before kids hit the piano they need to warm up their fingers.
Below we will show you how to use our Finger Exercise Bookmarks, but first, we want to quickly mention our newest resource, Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Technical Exercises For Note Reading Success, Book 1.
With over 100 pages and 226 primer piano exercises in middle C position and C position, your kids will NEED that bookmark to keep their place in this incredible resource!
Click on the cover below to check out this book on Amazon.
How To Use Our Finger Exercise Bookmarks
Our Finger Exercise Bookmarks contain images of five cute critters that will remind your students to exercise their fingers and wrists.
Each critter is associated with a specific exercise that you will teach to your kids during their lesson times. Then, when they get home, the image of the critters on their bookmarks will remind them of each specific activity.
Step 1: Teaching the Finger Exercises
During your students’ next lessons you will need to teach them the five finger exercises outlined below. Each exercise corresponds with a cute critter.
Exercise 1: The Jellyfish
Place a thin, stretchy elastic band around your student’s right-hand fingers while they are in a closed position. Ask her to rest her fingertips on a flat surface and then gradually expand her fingers to stretch the elastic band. Her finger motion should resemble the expansion and retraction of a jellyfish. This activity is made even more enjoyable if you put a fishy cracker on the table and have the “jellyfish” expand and retract over its next meal! Repeat this activity with your student’s left hand.
Exercise 2: Nice Kitty, Naughty Kitty
Ask your student to hold both of her hands up in front of her face and then instruct her to bend all of her fingers at their middle knuckles so she is making “cat claws”. Instruct her to hold this pose for 5-8 seconds as she becomes “naughty kitty” (hiss!). Then. have her relax her fingers so she becomes “nice kitty”.
Exercise 3: The Moody Giraffe
Instruct your student to hold out her right arm while making a closed fist to represent the head and long neck of a giraffe. Ask your student several, fun YES/NO questions such as, “Do you like ice cream?” or “Do you live in the ocean?” In response, your student can choose to be the “Happy Giraffe” by moving her wrist only, to make her fist go up and down and answer YES, or the “Sad Giraffe” by moving her wrist only, to make her fist move from side to side and answer NO.
Exercise 4: Hello Owl
Instruct your student to squeeze the tips of her right thumb and right index finger together as tightly as she can, making a circle. This should be performed without allowing the first finger joint to collapse. Your student can relax the squeeze if she needs to correct a joint collapse. Have your student do the same thing with her left hand. Next, ask your student to hold the two circles together so they touch and then bring the circles in front of her own eyes to make an “owl face”. Keeping her hands in front of her eyes, have her repeat the exercise with her 3, 4, and then 5 fingers. Each time new fingers come together to create the owl face instruct her to “hoot” like an owl.
Exercise 5: Good Dog
Tell an imaginary dog to sit down directly in front of your student. Have your student mimic the motion of patting the dog on the head. The hinging motion from the pat should happen only at the wrist, with her arm remaining still. Next, have your student pat the dog on the head twice and then give the “thumbs-up” sign while rotating her thumb in two full circles. Finally, instruct your student to repeat this activity with her other hand.
Step 2: Practicing The Finger Exercises At Home
Click on the image below to download our Finger Exercise Bookmarks. After demonstrating and practicing the above exercises during lesson time, give your student a bookmark and then have her practice each exercise as you point to the animal images. Before your student leaves her lesson place the bookmark in her piano book and then remind her to practice the exercises before she begins her technical exercises.
Before you download today’s resource remember to check out Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Technical Exercises For Note Reading Success, Book 1.