Cold hands with wooden, immobile fingers are a real nightmare for most pianists.
Besides affecting the quality of our performance, this unpleasant ‘syndrome’ is also a warning sign. It tells us that there’s something we should change about our habits and our lifestyle.
When I was studying, I had a chronic case of ‘freezing hands’. No matter how warm it was outside, no matter how hard I was rubbing my hands together before a concert or exam, they were still cold!
If you’re a ‘cold-handed’ pianist too, you should never accept this situation! I know many pianists who think that their cold hands are simply an aspect of their individuality. This is not true!
Yes, it’s normal for your hands to get cold during winter, when it’s freezing outside and you’re not wearing gloves. However, if your hands get (and remain) cold at room temperature, you should definitely do something about it!
First of all, let’s talk about causes. After all, isn’t it paradoxical to have cold hands while playing the piano? How can our fingers get cold while being so mobile and ‘exercised’?
The answer is usually less complicated than we think:
1. Tension. Tension stops our blood and our energy from flowing freely.
Tension is the main cause of cold hands and this is what every pianist needs to understand in order to cope with this frustrating problem.
Have you noticed that your hands get especially cold before important events such as exams and concerts?
This happens because anxiety creates mental tension. Our body always mirrors our mental state. A tensed mind (anxiety, fear, anger, worry, even shyness) equals a tensed body.
In a tensed body, the energy cannot flow and the blood circulation is weak (especially the peripheral circulation that has to reach our hands and feet). If the blood and the energy cannot reach your hands and feet, how on Earth can they get warm?
If you practice piano in a state of constant tension (triggered by a negative attitude, hurry or simply an incorrect technique), guess what happens? Yes – your hands will get (and stay!) cold no matter how many scales, Hanons and Etudes you might play as a ‘warm up’! A tensed practice is also extremely dangerous – this way you can easily develop a hand injury!
2. Lack of physical movement.
Another cause that leads to cold extremities is the static lifestyle characteristic to most pianists. It is less destructive than tension, but it can still lead to a weak overall tonus, low levels of energy and a poor blood circulation.
3. Shallow breathing.
If your breathing is fast and shallow, your blood does not receive enough oxygen, thus being unable to transfer heat throughout the body. At the same time, shallow breathing is simultaneously a cause and an effect of tension.
4. Incorrect nutrition and detrimental habits (drinking, smoking etc.).
Incorrect nutrition is a ‘clever’ enemy. It has patience and it works unnoticed. Eating a burger or having a soft drink will not ‘freeze’ your hands – we all know that. In the long run, however, unhealthy foods and beverages (junk-food, white bread, sugar, coffee, black tea, sodas etc.) will slowly deteriorate your body’s natural defenses. Causing a gradual accumulation of toxins, incorrect nutrition makes you weaker and full of blockages on different levels. What happens if you throw waste materials into a river? The same happens to your body when you eat chemically-processed foods in incompatible combinations. A poor blood flow (and resulting cold hands) is only a minor consequence of our modern eating habits.
There may be other physiological causes of ‘cold hands’ (for example, the side-effects of a certain disease). I am not a doctor and I cannot dive into complex medical subjects, but I can tell you one important thing: with only a few minor exceptions, all the diseases that we acquire are a direct consequence of our lifestyle.
This does not mean that we have to blame ourselves for getting sick. It only means that we have to be informed: we have to understand (at least to a certain degree) how our body really functions and how to create a healthy balance between our mind, our body, our surroundings and our daily habits.
From here, another important cause:
5. Lack of information.
Lack of information is a mega-cause. It is responsible for so much more than a pianist’s cold hands! It creates 99% of our problems, whether we talk about health, professional achievements or our personal life. How can you be healthy and successful if you don’t know HOW to do it? This can be the subject of another article, though :). Now, let’s get back to our ‘cold pianistic hands’ and let’s see what we can do about it!
Getting rid of ‘cold hands’ – the solutions:
First, don’t fall into the trap of ‘treating’ the symptoms of your problem instead of eliminating its causes. This approach is used by modern medical science and we can see every day that it cannot give us real health, balance and happiness.
Avoid the ‘symptomatic’ approach: wearing gloves, drinking coffee or putting your hands in hot water can work for the moment, but these methods cannot make your problem go away in the long run. Even worse – once you take the gloves off or remove your hands from the hot water, they will freeze even faster than before. This kind of ‘treatment’ is not a solution – it’s only a way to deceive ourselves. Yes, we have to protect our hands from cold during winter by wearing gloves. However, if we want to get rid of ‘chronic’ cold hands, we have to attack the cause of this condition – our inner tension, our incorrect lifestyle and the resulting poor blood circulation.
A holistic approach takes more time, patience and dedication. It requires being informed and thinking for yourself. But it is worth every second!
Most of the time we think, feel and act without understanding why we do it. When was the last time you checked if you’re tensed or not?
Mental and physical tension can be a consequence of anxiety, but also an unconscious habit (which, if allowed to develop, can become ‘second nature’). Most people (especially musicians!) are tensed ‘by default’, without even being aware of it. Can you imagine the devastating consequences of this unconscious tension that’s present in everything we do, as a stable background?
It’s time to develop a new habit! Besides making your hands warmer, this will also change your life for the better: as often as you can, perform a ‘tension-check’ and immediately relax your mind and your muscles!
Being aware of your tension will instantly relieve it, even if only for a few moments. If you perform this ‘tension-check’ more often, you’ll slowly teach your mind and your body to be relaxed ‘by default’!
2. Mental relaxation.
As I already mentioned, everything originates in our mind. If you learn to relax your mind, your body will obediently follow.
Until a few years ago, I used to have ice-cold hands even during summer. I thought that there’s nothing I can do about it, that this is ‘how I am’… until I accidentally made a discovery! This is how it happened:
At one point in my life, I started to look for natural ways of dealing with performance-related anxiety. I wasn’t thinking about my cold hands back then – I simply wanted to become calmer and cope with exams better.
I began to learn how to meditate. Meditation was the first big revelation that irremediably changed my view on life, music and piano playing.
When your mind is still, amazing things start to happen. The most fascinating thing, however, is the fact that you FINALLY understand what relaxation is! When you empty your mind of worries, when you stop, even for a few minutes, your continual ‘inner dialogue’, you finally find a little peace, allowing your blood and your energy to flow freely!
I am not an ‘advanced’ meditation practitioner. I only learned, on a basic level, how to focus on my breath, at the same time being aware of what goes on in my mind. Fortunately, it’s enough for reviving our blood circulation and for finally allowing our energy to move. It is not hard at all and you can certainly learn to do it as well.
A still mind equals a relaxed body! It’s as inevitable as the flowing of a river into the sea! When you relax, you can literally feel the warmth reaching your hands – it is an amazing sensation!
So, during my 3rd or 4th ‘clumsy’ meditation, I had another revelation: my hands (for the first time in my life) got really, really warm! It was a fantastic (and unexpected) surprise!
The ironic thing is that it doesn’t have to be a surprise! We don’t have to learn such things the hard way, as I did. My ‘discovery’ is something that ancient healers have known for thousands of years. The problem is that students are too busy nowadays with their endless homeworks and they rarely have time to search for health-related information and holistic solutions. However, this is – again – the subject of another article.
When we’re tensed, our breathing becomes shallow automatically. However, we can reverse the situation: we can learn how to breathe deeply, by using the full capacity of our lungs. Our body will inevitably relax as a consequence.
4. Physical training.
In order to have a fulfilled life, we need to be strong, flexible and self-confident. Physical training is important for everyone, regardless of sex, age and physical condition. For musicians, however, it is mandatory! Only an active lifestyle can help us compensate the long hours of static piano practice.
For example, I began with yoga (which improves our mental and physical strength and flexibility simultaneously, not to mention all its other benefits – including the art of relaxation) and I continued with running and other forms of training. Presently, I combine running with a form of training inspired from martial arts. You can start with whatever form of training you like – team sports, biking, aerobics – as long as you enjoy it and you work out regularly! 🙂
There are also specific exercises for your spine, shoulders, arms and hands that can improve your blood circulation by strengthening your blood vessels and removing energy blockages (I have a dream of making some video recordings and showing you these exercises in the near future – as soon as I will be able to buy a good video camera). Update – here is one of these videos.
Physical training has countless benefits, and it also boosts our blood circulation and our energy flow. It is also a natural way to relieve tension. The result? Gradually, your hands will become warmer!
5. Correct nutrition.
A clean body functions well with minimum energy loses. A strong blood circulation (and the resulting warm extremities) is only one of the countless benefits of eating healthy.
Unfortunately, piano professors are usually not teaching their students how to be healthy and have an enjoyable, balanced lifestyle – all they care about are piano achievements. However, it’s impossible to have a fulfilled musical career if you don’t understand your own body and you have no idea why your hands are cold! What’s the point of playing a difficult piece brilliantly if you’re stressed, unhappy and ill?
I know that all the solutions that I just described are not easy to follow – especially at the beginning. However, don’t forget that these changes – correct information, a positive attitude, a relaxed body, deep breathing, correct nutrition, correct piano practice and physical training – will simultaneously solve many other piano-related problems: performance anxiety, various health issues, low productivity and that dreadful feeling of being lost, sad and unbalanced.
Once you get ‘into the rhythm’ of changing your life for the better, you’ll enjoy it so much that you won’t be able to live otherwise. Besides solving your ‘cold hands’ dilemma, you’ll also become calmer, stronger, healthier and happier!
The important thing is to never give up! Don’t become disappointed if your hands will not become warmer overnight. My hands are still getting cold from time to time – but at least I know what to do to improve the situation! Nobody is perfect and we all deal with countless failures and frustrations on our way toward a certain goal. However, there is one thing we should remember, especially when it becomes really hard: Success usually lies just beyond failure. It is not only a wise quote (signed by Cortes), it is a simple law of the universe.
It’s time for a change of habits and a change of temperature! 🙂
P.S. Feel free to share your thoughts and your experience in the comments below!
You can subscribe to PianoCareer by liking my Facebook page.
If you enjoyed this free online piano lessons, here are some other piano learning and practice topics you’ll like:
How to Avoid Piano Injuries | Get Rid of Tension and Pain in Your Hands, Arms & Back!
The 5 Basic Elements of a Correct Piano Posture
How to Use the Sustain Pedal Correctly: The Bio-Mechanics of a Healthy Piano Pedaling Technique
How to Handle Failures in Piano Playing? 16 Perspective-Changing Steps
No Time to Practice? 5 Powerful Solutions for Lack of Time
Work Smart! Tips for a Productive and Enjoyable Piano Practice
How to avoid piano injuries – get rid of tension and pain in your hands, wrists, arms and back
Wow! Your insight and discovery into the cause and treatment of your cold hands is amazing. I too suffer from extremely cold hands (and feet!) most of the time. I never thought that body tension could be one of the causes. I will follow your advice and endeavour to alleviate my own symptoms. Many thanks for sharing your own personal discomfort too. I wish you warm hands all year round!
Good luck in getting rid of your cold hands! Relaxation, physical exercises and a healthy lifestyle will inevitably ‘raise’ the temperature of your hands and feet! 😉
I wish you warm hands all the time as well! After suffering from cold extremities for many years, we will never take our warm hands for granted – it will always be something that makes us happy! 🙂
I can’t thank you enough for this article. It inspired me and taught me that I wasn’t the only one suffering from extremely cold hands specially before piano exams. It was when I was schooling that I did Grade 8 piano, a few days before the exam I was informed that my teacher forgot to give me an entire movement from a piece. I know, I still don’t know how that happened! I went for the exam and the normal cold hands I always have got even worse. The tension was too much. I failed my final grade and I developed a very negative perception about my ability as a pianist. I’m 20 now but I plan on giving Grade 8 another shot.
I plan on taking your advice and hope that I will do well this time!
Thank you so much!!
Thank you for your comment! It’s very nice to meet you! 😉
Thanks for sharing your experience! It proves one more time that tension is the main cause of our ‘pianistic cold hands’. You’re right – the negative emotions which you experienced before your exam amplified your problem – projecting it on your entire piano experience.
As always, awareness is the first step! It’s fantastic that now you understand how tension and anxiety made you lose your ‘pianistic confidence’. By realizing that it was a subjective emotion (and not the reality!) you can not only get rid of cold hands – but also change your entire perspective on piano playing (which in the end is an amazing activity!).
So good luck, definitely go for Grade 8 again and don’t forget to enjoy every little step of the process! Passion for what we do is the best antidote for tension and anxiety! 😉
Keep us posted!!!
P.S. I’m currently working on a new project – an Online Piano Community (which will be structured like an easy-to-use forum) where you’ll be able to ask piano questions, receive interactive detailed answers and watch exclusive tutorials! I will launch it in the middle of February – you can subscribe to my email newsletter to stay updated (and receive a free copy of my report “A New Perspective on Piano Phrasing”!) 😉
Wow I’m very excited to experience this Online Piano Community.
Thank you very much . You’ve been very inspirational 🙂
I subscribed for the email newsletter just now.
Good luck Ilinca!
Thanks, April! 😉
By the way, if you decide to join my Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com – let me know in advance and I’ll send you a 10% discount coupon code (all my email newsletter subscribers get one!).
Good luck as well and have an enjoyable practice today! 😉
I sit at the computer a lot for the past few years and have noticed a huge temperature drop in my hands and feet. Starting a gym regimen tomorrow to get active again!
Welcome to PianoCareer.com and thanks for your comment! 😉
Yes, an active regimen is very important for increasing the blood circulation in your arms and feet – and thus – increasing their temperature!
i have my grade 7 on the 21st of this month.is there any particular advice you can give me other than what i already know(this you can summise knowing i have reached grade 6)
For giving you practice advice, I need to know what pieces you’re playing and what particular problems you’re currently trying to overcome! 😉
By the way, for having access to lots of useful piano tips and secrets (and many exclusive video tutorials), you can join my Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com. On the Private Members Forum I give detailed video and written answers to every piano question!
By the way, you can receive a special 10% discount coupon code if you subscribe to my email newsletter (and also receive a complimentary copy of my report ‘A New Perspective on Piano Phrasing‘).
Good luck with your exam! 😉
Thank you for sharing all the wonderful wisdom .
It’s a blessing to discover you. Your musical style is divine.
Peace and joy to you.
Thank you!!! 😉
By the way, on 15th of February I launched a new project – an exclusive Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com. Click here to find out more!
Have a wonderful day,
another helpful article, many thanx.
You’re welcome! 😉
Great article! Thank you so much for this tips. Greetings from Panama!
Thank you, Amilcar! 😉
Thank you so much for this beautiful website! Your wisdom and insight are truly amazing for your young age! I am now 50 and I have 43 years of piano playing behind me. I did not study music, but microbiology instead although I never gave up playing for long. I now teach piano and I love it. I was taught to sit very still and straight and to keep my hands still. This lead to the topic of your article-TENSION! I suffered from very cold hands and recently had my shoulder operated on to relieve my rotator cuff injuries which most likely came from tension. Now I can really play the piano again after many years of pain that only increased my tension. I currently work on relaxing while playing and I am working hard at motion and gestures as I play. I am enjoying some Rachmaninoff Preludes (Op 32 no5 in G) and Schumann Arabeske. They both lend themselves so well to the study of relaxed playing. I am finding your website so inspiring and useful as I teach. My greatest focus with my own students is to play from the shoulders in a relaxed manner to transfer the energy in their bodies ultimately to the strings. It’s a hard thing to teach children, especially in a society that values perfection above emotion! This website is such a valuable source of information and inspiration to pianists everywhere. Thank You!!!
Thank you so much for your comment – it’s great to meet you!!! I’m really happy to welcome a piano teacher to PianoCareer.com – and it feels amazing that my tutorials helped you to discover so many useful things about relaxed piano playing!
You’re right – nowadays technical perfection is valued more than artistry – that’s why in the Russian piano school we put so much emphasis on expression, artistic concept, meaning and a quality piano tone (that can be created only by playing in a relaxed manner, from the entire weight of our arms).
It’s fantastic that you’re teaching your students how to play correctly – they are lucky to have you as their teacher!
Thank you again for this wonderful comment and I hope to talk to you soon!
Hi Ilinca, I’m working on Debussy’s nocturne and I am having trouble playing the main theme, I don’t know how the notes fit together, e.g the semiquavers against the sextuplets. I also find it uncomfortable to cross my 5th finger over my thumb in the left hand, any tips you can give me?
Is this the type of structure (from Debussy’s Nocturne) that you’re trying to fit together?
First of all, do you know how to play a basic ‘2 against 3’ structure? For example, when there are 2 eight notes in the left hand, and a triplet in the right hand (or vice-versa)?
In Debussy’s Nocturne, we have to apply the same principle!
Mentally, you have to divide the ‘4 against 6’ in two smaller structures of ‘2 against 3’. And don’t forget that in the right hand there is a sixteenth note rest at the beginning of each quadruplet – but mentally you have to count it as well!
Here is how the notes have to be distributed:
As you can see, the rest and the 2nd sixteenth note in the right hand (encircled with red) have to be played together with the left hand notes from the beginning of each triplet (encircled with blue).
The 1st and 4th quadruplets are played between the left hand notes – in the places marked with red lines. I also marked with red lines the notes that have to be played simultaneously (the ones I mentioned above).
However, this is not all! Playing cross-rhythms (2 against 3, 3 against 4, 7 against 16 etc.) is first of all a question of coordination, experience and feeling – and not simply a mathematical calculation.
I strongly recommend reading my reply to a similar question: How to Play Cross-Rhythms? There I explain in more detail how to improve this skill.
Also, I record video tutorials on a regular basis – as replies to the questions asked by the members of my Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com. You can join the program as well – this will allow me to record a video and demonstrate in detail how to practice the bars in question!
You also asked me how to cross your 5th finger over your thumb in the left hand. Could you please tell me the bar number where this problem occurs?
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your practice! 😉
Thank you for your advice, btw the 2nd problem starts at bar 13, where you have to play a Db with the left thumb and then cross over your 5th finger to play a Gb, it’s really awkward to do.
He again Neil!
In fact, this problem has two solutions!
1. Keep playing with the indicated fingering, but modify your gestures so that this specific structure will become comfortable.
Don’t make a real finger legato! Don’t connect the 1st and 5th fingers objectively, making a classical over-the-thumb rotation! Instead, you have to rely on the help of the sustain pedal and make a horizontal hand position shift: after playing with the thumb, shift your hand horizontally, without making legato, without any rotations, until your 5th finger ‘gets into position’, ready to press the next note with the 5th finger! Thanks to the pedal, the passage will sound smoothly and equally – without causing you discomfort!
This is a ‘trick’ used by all professional pianists – and this is what Debussy had in mind when he indicated this fingering.
Unfortunately, as I already mentioned, I don’t have time for recording video replies to the questions posted here on PianoCareer.com – and I hope that you understood this technique from my description above!
2. Change the fingering. The fingering indicated by Debussy (1-5) requires advanced technical accuracy and flexibility – but it also offers increased speed once mastered. Here is another easier version (my own invention) – you can give it a try and see how it goes!
If you can’t see all the details, click on the image to enlarge.
In this case, it’s possible to make a real legato between hand position changes – by relying on the classical ‘over-the-thumb’ rotation. You’ll be using your 1st finger as a pivoting point (especially when it plays on a white key) – making the hand position changes very comfortable. However, this fingering is not appropriate for the first half of bar 14, for example (where it’s better to use the composer’s suggestions).
So, choose one of these solutions and let me know how it goes! 😉
Good luck and have a productive week!
Multumesc foarte mult pentru aceste detalii atat de importante si folositoare.Chiar aveam ceva probleme cu Chopin op. 10 nr. 12 din cauza mainilor reci.
Merci mult – imi pare bine ca ti-a placut acest articol! 😉
Thanks for the explanation. I found out that I am a shallow breather haha.
I get really focused which results in breathing very shallow. I now have to keep in mind to really inhale the air. I did this after I was done reading and it had an immediate effect!
Thanks for the tip! 🙂
Thank you for your comment! 😉
Yes, deep breathing has amazing effects on our well-being – and in time (with regular ‘practice’ :D), it will become a habit!
Have an awesome day,
Do you have any suggestions for a person situated in a generally cold environment, and if all else fails would you recommend wearing gloves?
You should certainly wear gloves when you go out if you live in a cold environment! I always wear gloves when the temperature goes below 5 degrees Celsius – otherwise my hands would totally freeze!
However, if there are more than 18 degrees Celsius in your room, there’s no need to wear gloves (or play with gloves!).
Ilinca, iam getting hand freeze when iam in a airconditioned room, pls give some steps to avoid that.
Turn off the air conditioning! 🙂
Don’t forget that we are humans (not machines) and our hands WILL get cold below a certain temperature, no matter what we do and no matter how healthy we are. It’s normal to have cold hands when it’s cold in the room!
In rest, read my article above! 😉
I was wondering what one could do about sweaty hands? I’ve seen some pianists put stuff on their hands before a show.. but have no idea what it is or could be… Any ideas?
Excessive sweating (including sweaty hands) is a normal neuro-physical reaction to stress (in our case – it’s a result of performance anxiety). So while we could hide the symptoms (reduce the sweating) by putting powder or special creams on our hands – in the end, we can really solve this problem only by gradually learning how to get rid of its cause: reduce our stress levels.
You can begin by reading my free tutorials on this topic:
Studying Piano – How to Cope With Exams? 7 Basic Steps
How to Handle Failures in Piano Playing? 16 Perspective-Changing Steps
How to Compensate Your Daily Piano Practice Routine?
You can also find many detailed articles dedicated to the psychological aspect of piano performance (and hundreds of video tutorials where I share the professional principles of the Russian piano school) on my Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com.
Good luck ;),
I have cold hands and feet, that I inherit from my dad.
Does not matter how I breath or how self confident or calm I behave.
My hands and feet always get cold when room temperature becomes cold or in any cold environment.
What should I do………..any comments or suggestions will help.
Hi , Thanks your article was so helpful , I have this problem and its really tough for me and i just keep practicing with cold fingers , I go to Yoga classes 3 times a week but i have not tried Meditation yet , is there another way to make my self calm or is there a permanent cure ?
The road to health, well-being and self-improvement is a long one :), requiring patience, dedication and lots of work! It goes without saying that there are no magical ‘permanent cures’ for cold hands – instead, you should try to discover the cause of your problem (the same symptom – cold hands – may be caused by different things in different people) – and then find effective ways of preventing/eliminating it.
Physical (and energetic) training is usually the best way of dealing with cold hands – but I agree that 3 Yoga classes per week are not enough. Meditation is very efficient as well – but I would also recommend more intensive training: jogging, martial arts, cross-fit, HIIT (high intensity interval training) etc.
I have had the problem of cold hands for a very long time and I’ve never known that all these are the causes of my problem, until now. I thought it was genetic or some other thing. The thing is I always do exercise and work out and practice the piano, but my hands never get warmer even after following your steps. I don’t know if I have tensions, ’cause my inner voice keeps on irritating me and it annoys me a lot. I cannot do meditation as I’m very impatient. But I try to relax through music, John Mayer and mozart, they help me a lot. I just pray to God that I get rid of my problem and have warm hands that’ll make everything easy. Thank You once again and good luck.
If your hands are always cold (even when the air temperature is above 25-30 degrees Celsius and you wear very warm clothes), than my advice is to consult a doctor – you might have some serious circulatory problems!
By the way – meditation is not for patient people :). Meditation is a remedy for impatience (among other things! LOL). Similarly – we don’t exercise because we’re strong. We get strong because we exercise!
Good luck and wishing you lots of health,
I am a software developer from Pakistan. I don’t have very serious problem of cold hands. But still I face this problem more often as compared to other peoples around me. Your article is very helpful. we often don’t notice these small details of our life, but keeping these details in order make us more productive.
I would like to thank you a lot for this article, since this article is written in a healing way :). Also you have got charm in your personality :). We all need to develop this charm for happy world. Again Ilnica thanks a lot, and love for you for no specific reason 🙂
what a wonderful article. Relaxation, deep breathing is the key 🙂 thanks for reminding me. I’m not a piano student but love the positive article which is very difficult to find.
Great article and I think you really found every angle for healing. It really takes that full spectrum of balance and will power to keep our mind and body harmony. I love Tai Chi and Yoga and they’ve really helped me a lot.
Thanks for sharing!
You’re very welcome, Shane! Thank you for your appreciation! 😀 😉
Thanks. I was just playing the guitar and was concerned about my cold hands, so I searched and found this article. I started doing the breathing and relaxation whilst I was reading it. By the time I got to the end my hands are really starting to warm up and getting hotter as I write this.
If this cure works in future then many thanks again. I’ve been concerned about my cold hands for years now.
Thank you for the reminder.
I drink lots of coffee and that always throws me off when dealing with cold hands.
I’m drinkin a cup now actually (as an act of rebellion) and my hands are warm. I’m going to work on calming myself with meditation throughout the day and track my internal tension. I appreciate your article. Here’s a warm high five!
Hello, this article is stunning. I play violin and this article is one I immediately saved to my Pocket. Ilinca, in the article you mention that you will write more articles about several topics related to this article like:
“More about correct breathing and its importance for any musician in my future articles!” and
“….improve your blood circulation by strengthening your blood vessels and removing energy blockages (I have a dream of making some video recordings and showing you these exercises in the near future – as soon as I will be able to buy a good video camera).”
Did you get around to these yet? I am asking as this article has excellent information which I am dying to try out when I get home to practice my violin. But I am already trying the deeper breathing and it is really working plus I love the meditation. Any chance you could write an article about mindfulness and maybe “inclusive awareness” and how those affect playing?
This is Natalia, Ilinca Vartic’s assistant at PianoCareerAcademy.com. Thank you so much for your appreciation! 🙂
Yes, since writing the article about cold hands (more than 5 years ago) Ilinca has launched her online Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com (in February 2012) – writing and recording many hundreds of tutorials for our members (including lots health-related videos and articles).
By the way, mindfulness is a mega-topic covered in all Ilinca’s tutorials :).
You can learn more about PianoCareerAcademy.com and its functionality by reading our super-detailed FAQs (http://www.pianocareeracademy.com/faqs/).
Please pay special attention to the following questions from the FAQs:
No. 1-3: discover what PianoCareerAcademy is, how it works, what is included (and what is not included) in the membership; in question No. 2 you will find the link to the Complete List of Tutorials available to our members;
No. 9: contains the links to several of Ilinca’s free tutorials (available on PianoCareer.com and also on her YouTube channel);
I also recommend exploring the Archives at PianoCareer.com – this page contains the links to all Ilinca’s free articles and videos (many of them being dedicate to holistic topics).
I hope that my answer was helpful, and if you have other questions about the functionality of PianoCareerAcademy.com (that are not covered in the FAQs), please don’t hesitate to ask! 😉
Very interesting your blog!
I use to teach for children and sometimes they don’t like several lessons about music theory.
Do you have some ludic ideas and professional methods for this kind of children and classes?
I would have to write a volume in order to answer your question fully! 😀
There are many method books for children nowadays where theory is explained in a fun, easy-to-understand manner, by using games and fairytales as examples.
Piano pedagogy for children is a very complex field, and it certainly cannot be explained in one short comment. Moreover, there are many different piano methods you can choose from – and you have to also ‘tailor’ your teaching style to the unique personality of each student.
My Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com (where you can find many hundreds of detailed video and written tutorials, including a step-by-step Video Course for Beginners) is addressed to adults. By joining our community, you can learn the professional principles of the Russian piano school (which will help you to enrich your knowledge, to improve your skills and to learn more about teaching) – but you will not find a direct answer to your question (my tutorials are focused on the practical side of piano playing and on the harmonious development of the student’s expressive/technical/aural/analytical/practice/pedaling skills). I obviously cover all the needed theory in all my tutorials as well – but, as I already mentioned, it is not tailored for little children :).
If you want to learn more about the functionality of my Piano Coaching Program, please read our super-detailed FAQs!
Thank you very much for such an insightful article! Would want to try meditating. Do you know of any website/tutorial about meditating that can help with cold hands (performance anxiety)?
Meditation is a wonderful way of calming our mind – and as a result, solving (or improving) many psychological and physical issues. Because it has a relaxing effect, meditation (and the free energy circulation that results) improves our peripheral blood flow – which results in warmer hands and feet.
There are lots of very good sites dedicated to meditation – but you will not find tutorials focused ONLY on its effects on cold hands or performance anxiety. Just like I mentioned above, solving these issues is just one of the many benefits of meditation, which has an overall healing effect on our entire body.
A healthy lifestyle (clean eating, proper hydration, physical exercise, a positive attitude + meditation) will improve all the areas of your life! 😉
You can find more information on this topic (along with many hundreds of detailed video tutorials focused on a wide array of piano topics and pieces, structured according to categories and levels) in the Members Area of my Piano Coaching Program at PianoCareerAcademy.com.
You can find out more about this program and its functionality by taking a look at our detailed FAQs (http://www.pianocareeracademy.com/faqs/) – especially my answers to questions No. 1-6.
Thanks for this. I’m only 12 and I have a competition coming up and my hands always get cold and I can’t play properly. Thanks for the tips, it really helps.
Thank you, Oscar! I’m really happy that this tutorial was helpful – and lots of good luck with the upcoming performance! 🙂