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Quarantine Practice, Ep. 5 - Finger Independence

*Silent video* Mindful art, artful mind - the first exercise from Dounis’ Daily Dozen has been a trusty companion since a number of years because it allows one to develop kinesthesia, or sense of movement. Kinesthesia I’ve realized promotes a holistic approach to playing an instrument, as it incorporates mindfulness and inclusive awareness of the quality of movement in each joint of your body. There are two parts of this exercise that don’t require the bow- they target the two basic left hand frames: 1) One that runs transversely down across the fingerboard from lower to upper finger, and 2) the Geminiani chord, which runs transversely up across the fingerboard. The latter hand structure is effective for developing a hand frame that is positioned in favor of the weaker fingers- what we know as a balanced hand frame!


Spending 5 minutes daily on these exercises help develop mindful finger independence, a balanced hand frame, and suppleness. The main things to consider I find are using cushioned finger pads, minimal finger pressure (half-harmonic), having a mobile thumb, and treating finger lifting as an active motion (against gravity) and placing as a passive, rebound motion (refraining from hammering down the fingers). This allows one to feel the effort and release that is critical for tension-free playing!


Clips on silent to prevent aural distraction and encourage focus on seeing the quality of the movement 😊! Exercises are from pages 234/35 from the Dounis Collection.


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