Diary of a Music Teacher Day 19: Motor Skills!

Motor skills are needed for playing any musical instrument! Hand co-ordination, and with some instruments, foot and mouth co-ordination, form the bases for playing music. Particularly younger students might find it tricky to play with different fingers. The picky is famously the hardest finger to control!

Starting out playing with 2-3 fingers helps lay the foundation for subsequent learning. The two smaller fingers can be added after the first couple of lessons . For string instruments, chords that don’t stress across many frets and strings are best for building a foundation. Once the first three fingers of both hands can be used confidently for playing, it will be much easier to ad the remaining two fingers.

Simple songs and exercises can be worked on to brush up one’s motor skills. In addition to exercises with the musical instrument, activities that strengthen the finger muscles an muscles around the wrists can be helpful. For example, playing with playdough, clay or even climbing on climbing frames can help younger learners strengthen their hand muscles.

Often we just need to be patient and take it a day at a time! Remind your students that athletes also start somewhere and build on a solid foundation. Learning to play a musical instrument is much the same process!

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