Where should I be looking?

A place to discuss Playground's main curriculum, the Bootcamp.
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:26 pm

Where should I be looking?

Post by mrclauds » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:39 pm

Hi All

When we had just 1 hand position or a position where it just involved a rotation, I had no problem keeping my eyes on the staff at all times. But now I find myself looking down at the keyboard to change hand positions where I cant simply make one finger touch another for reference(lesson 71, pinky from E to C and thumb from G to D), then by the time I get back up to the staff, everything feels rushed and I usually blotch it.
The videos I see, the instructors are always looking down at the keys so dont have someone to watch.
I would rather have a steep learning curve, but learn it the correct way. than easier to learn, but then have to relearn it later.
So what I would like to know is, what is the correct way to do it? Look at staff and develop muscle memory to know where keys are? or look at keys and memorise the staff(doubt its this way), or is it a combination of both?


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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:40 pm

Re: Where should I be looking?

Post by Anne » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:54 pm

Hi Clauds,
I'm new to the app and to this forum, but not new to music or piano, and since you haven't had any responses, I'll weigh in. I think it's normal to be glancing between the score (the staff) and the keyboard while you're learning a song or piece. You need to look at the score to remember the notes, and you need to look at the keyboard to know where your hands are. Once you've practiced enough to know the piece quite well, you can look wherever you want -- at the score, at the keyboard, into space! It's a mix of cognitive memory and muscle memory. (And maybe by now you've figured this out for yourself.) Good luck!

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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: Where should I be looking?

Post by SJunior22 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:25 pm

Hi mrclauds!

Its been a while since your posting and I haven't seen anyone respond, so I shall be the first - I guess. If you are still having trouble on where to look to be "technically sound", then my answer would be get used to looking at the sheet music 90% of the time. Its ok to look down as you transistion to different registers on the piano and then look back to the sheet music as a beginner/intermediate.

Eventually, you are going to memorize some song in which, you wont need to look at the sheet music. Therefore, you can look down and around and with your eyes closed for those pieces of music. Until then, you'll want to learn the piano by touch and the only way you're going to do that is to continually look down (as needed) on where your fingers are and should be.

Its sort of a progression/doing three things at once - you start by looking the piano keys so much that you begin to memorize the keys/registers - as you look at sheet music and begin to learn what notes/chords/triads/inversions/etc are in what register on the sheet music - as you begin to listen and memorize the music you play.

Whenever you want to "test your skill", I suggest you try "sight reading". You take a piece of sheet music that you've never seen and play it as best as you can the first time through (no practicing). This will show you how well you know the piano and are able to interpret and translate whats written on the sheet music.

I hope this information is of some help still and I wish you all the best!

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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:39 pm

Re: Where should I be looking?

Post by blispers » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:10 am


I had a time when I was relying on looking at my hands a lot to play. When I looked up to the sheet music I had to find where I was and that is when I tended to blotch it. So I worded hard for awhile not looking at my hands at all. Now I try to only look down on some transitions.

Another thing that helped came from my piano teacher. Is to shift my fingering. For example if I am playing a high C with my 4 finger and I need to play the G above. I would play the C with my 4 finger keep holding it down and shift to my thumb while still holding it down. And them I am prepared to play the G with my 5 finger.

It was very weird and hard to learn but I use that skill all the time now. Really helps with transitions. I am not just jumping to somewhere else on the keyboard. I have a reference.

Hope that helps.

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