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#3137772 07/15/21 06:50 PM
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I have a 9yo student with ehlers danlos syndrome. her finger joints are so loose that she can't comfortably play a triad chord. does anyone have late elementary repertoire they can recommend for someone with hands like this? her music theory and sight reading are quite good for her level of playing.

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This is likely most unhelpful but - it is suspected that Paganini had Ehlers Danlos.

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Won't it be better for her to train playing chords than to avoid chords?
Have you showed her how to play chords using grasping motion?

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Hi Anne
You might want to check with your student’s parents, as she may be a patient of an occupational therapist. If so, that would be a great resource for you.


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FWIW --

Are Bach's Two-Part Inventions a possibility? There's a lot of challenge there, but no chords to play. I don't know if they're "late elementary" or intermediate.


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Is your student able to comfortably play harmonic intervals? If so, there are a lot of good etudes by Juan Cabeza in collections sold by Piano Safari that would be at her approximate level. Titles include Diversions (elementary to early intermediate levels), Piano Train Trips (late elementary to early intermediate), and Miniatures (intermediate -- perhaps a bit above her current level, due to some rhythmic complexities and that the etudes are in all major and minor keys; however, they're in 5-finger positions only, so may be quite comfortable for her to play).

If she struggles to play two notes simultaneously in the same hand, some of the pieces in the above collections contain no harmonic intervals or chords, so would work for her. But a better choice may be the book An Introduction to Classics To Moderns: Forty Very Easy Original Keyboard Pieces (selected and edited by Denes Agay). You'll find many pieces in that book (about 3/4 of them) that use only single notes in each hand. It's a great collection for her level, and includes pieces from varying time periods.

Regarding her discomfort while playing triads, can that be made more comfortable by rolling chords instead of playing them blocked?

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Anne
You might want to check with your student’s parents, as she may be a patient of an occupational therapist. If so, that would be a great resource for you.

This!
Every OT I know would be delighted to consult with you if the student were their client.


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