I always talk to my students about keeping fingers close to keys. We have a “home base” for each finger, as I tell them. Some of you might disagree: I have some friends whose fingers are far away from keys and they play quite well and have no glitches. But still, I suggest younger students always keep their fingers as close to the keys as possible and if they decide they want “flyaway fingers” when they are accomplished players then they can go for it with my blessing … until I hear any glitches, that is!

So listen but also watch this video of Lauren playing oboe and English horn … I like how close the fingers are to keys.

I know next to nothing about video games. Or maybe that’s not true: I really know nothing abut video games. But I guess this music is from some game called Portal.


  1. That’s so cool! I hope she put sheet music online somewhere, I want to play it too but am bad at playing by ear… (I did play portal)
    And for a moment there I thought you where going to suggest something along the lines of playing video games being good for fingering… but sadly, you weren’t.

  2. Well, who knows, Eefje … maybe it does help one’s fingering skills?! 🙂

  3. I completely agree! I’m always telling my beginning students to keep their fingers close to the keys. Can the student eventually be a good player with fingers wildly flying about? Sure. But the safest bet is certainly to keep those fingers close. It seems logical the less distance between the finger and the key should have bearing on the speed at which one can play. That’s got to agree with some law of physics 😉

  4. Yep … close to the keys, and over “home base” for each finger, as I explain it. I tell students each finger is in love with its key, and that they really don’t like to hang out with each other. So no “flyaway fingers” or “piggyback fingers”. (Yeah, I teach a lot of younger students!)