For beginners, and many not beginners, keeping their fingers on valves and keys, or thumbs and hands in the correct place, is a challenge. How’s that for an understatement?! An easy trick to help remind them where those digits go, or more importantly, where they need to stay, is to use a small bit of double-sided tape. Now, obviously, this won’t work for some places, and we should check that the tape will not harm the instrument or leave a residue before using it, but I have had great success using this simple trick. Put a half-inch square of that tape on each trumpet valve cap, flute key, or the like, and instantly students will sense when they are lifting their fingers too far. It’s amazing how judicious use of this stuff will surely provide some terrific results.
Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
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