Recently, I got a bit of a scare. I woke up to a bout of vertigo, caused by a viral infection as a result of the unusually hot and muggy summer.
Obviously, I didn’t feel like playing the piano for a few days, so I took a break.
At around this time, I discovered that the fourth and fifth fingers of my right hand had stopped functioning at their normal level.
They lacked strength now and I found executing musical trills and piano passages requiring precision difficult to bring off correctly.
What had happened?
Admittedly, I feared a debilitating medical condition. After all, the combination of light-headedness from the vertigo and the weakened fingers would create worry for most people.
Worse, each time I typed at the computer, I became aware of the less than perfect finger strength.
For years, I have used Czerny short exercises for piano to build up technical expertise, preferring them to scales and arpeggios.
Concerned, I worked on several of the Czerny exercises, noting when the finger work suffered. Always the fourth and fifth fingers and always the right hand.
Finally, I discovered the root of the problem.
For some reason, I had begun curling the little finger during the previous few weeks. Each time I did, I compromised the usual level of agility, thus giving the impression of the fingers not working.
I remedied the problem, and my playing is back to normal, but occasional traces of the vertigo remain, hopefully not for long.
Till next time.