Ever hear of a one-armed piano player?

In every piano season, I receive at least one phone call from a parent telling me that one of my students has broken their arm. (Last season three students were wearing casts at various times!) Naturally, everyone is wondering what to do about piano. I can reassure everyone that the student should continue to attend lessons.

While we do need to make some adjustments to lesson plans, there is a lot we can cover while we wait for the cast to come off. I shift the focus to theory and ear training. We have the time to study music history and listen to recordings and sight read scores of important works.

Photo by Alfred Music
Photo by Alfred Music

And did you know there is a large repertoire of piano music written especially for one hand? Many pianists have been injured due to war or illness. Janina Fialkowska is a Canadian pianist known for her interpretation of Chopin. Her career was in jeopardy when she had a cancerous tumour removed from her arm. She has made an amazing comeback.

I recently added to my music library: several volumes of Grand One-Hand Piano Solos written by Melody Bober, published by Alfred Music. Half of each volume is written for left hand, and the other half is written for right hand. We’re ready for anything!

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Janina Fialkowska will be in Ottawa on July 29, 2016 as part of the Ottawa International Chamberfest and her 65th birthday tour, giving a recital of Chopin’s best-loved works.

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