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Hand Control Problem


Vox Humana
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I have an adult pupil in his late 50s who had a few piano lessons when young, but is to all intents and purposes a late beginner (he is currently grade 3 standard). This pupil suffers from a badly trembling left thumb; sometimes it flaps about so much it can be a bit of a lottery as to which note it lands on. The problem is not consistent; some days his hand is more or less fine; other days he seems quite unable to control it. It is most manifest when he is attempting to play tricky passages and at these times the thumb tends to stick out rigidly, so the problem would seem to be tension related. I have repeatedly emphasised the need for relaxation, comfort, hand position and complete familiarity with the music, but with only limited success. This week I noticed that he had great difficulty in putting a piece of paper into an clear plastic A4 wallet because the hand holding the wallet was trembling so much, so I am now wondering whether the problem is nervous as much as physical. He tells me he has always suffered from it. I am at a loss to know what to do to address it. It may even need more specialist medical help. Have any of you encountered anything similar and, if so, how did you solve it?

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I have an adult pupil in his late 50s who had a few piano lessons when young, but is to all intents and purposes a late beginner (he is currently grade 3 standard). This pupil suffers from a badly trembling left thumb; sometimes it flaps about so much it can be a bit of a lottery as to which note it lands on. The problem is not consistent; some days his hand is more or less fine; other days he seems quite unable to control it. It is most manifest when he is attempting to play tricky passages and at these times the thumb tends to stick out rigidly, so the problem would seem to be tension related. I have repeatedly emphasised the need for relaxation, comfort, hand position and complete familiarity with the music, but with only limited success. This week I noticed that he had great difficulty in putting a piece of paper into an clear plastic A4 wallet because the hand holding the wallet was trembling so much, so I am now wondering whether the problem is nervous as much as physical. He tells me he has always suffered from it. I am at a loss to know what to do to address it. It may even need more specialist medical help. Have any of you encountered anything similar and, if so, how did you solve it?

 

Hi

 

I would suggest that he sees his doctor for referal to a specialist. It could be one of several things. I have a similar problem - the specialist was able to rule our things like Parkinsons. It's evidently not uncommon to have this sort of minor tremors (or not so minor sometimes). He suggested a glass of wine a day might help (which it does). He also said, more alcohol would help the problem but might cause other difficulties! That's the sort of doctor I like!

 

He also said that other treatment is available, but the side effects meant that he wouldn't advise it unless things become a real problem.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Thanks, Tony, that's helpful. I'll suggest he discusses it with his doctor. Your doctor sounds like my sort of person! I'll recommend the glass of wine too, but I think I might stop short of suggesting he has one with him on the console next time it's his turn on the Sunday morning rota - it's a Methodist church!

 

Apologies for the late acknowledgement - for some reason I missed your reply earlier.

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