Leap phobic students have trouble moving around the keys. They get very comfortable in one place or position but then struggle to move smoothly and quickly are the keyboard.
Leap Phobia: Bull’s Eye
The goal of the Bull’s Eye exercise is to improve your student’s focal point technique. Quite often, fixing the way she’s using her vision will allow her to move more quickly and smoothly.
- Place a marker of some kind on the key that your student will play after the leap.
- Ask her to play only the note before and directly after the leap. She should focus on the marker the whole time, and avoid looking at her hand.
- Increase this to include about a bar (measure) before the leap, and the note after the leap.
- Work outwards gradually until she is playing a few bars either side of the movement.
- Play the whole piece through.
- Lend your student the marker you used so that she can practice this way at home.
Leap Phobia: Crash Landing
Freeing tension and just “going for it” is what’s often missing when a student has Leap Phobia. These Crash Landing exercises will help to loosen them up.
- Ask your student to play her piece as normal, but after the leap simply crash into the rough areas of the keyboard she should land in.
- Practice this Crash Landing several times, showing her how to flop onto the keys.
- If she has trouble moving freely, get away from the piano and practice flopping your arms down by your sides together.
- Once she is Crash Landing with ease she can crash into the correct note, trying to keep the free and loose feeling she had before.
- At home she can use the Crash Landing to warm up each day before she plays her piece.