Chances are sometime in your teaching career, you will have a student that will injure their arm, wrist, fingers…  When that happens, are you prepared for THE question that will be asked?  “Do we still have lessons while I’m recovering?”

My answer is YES!  Although an injury whether a break or a sprain can be traumatic for a student, there is so many things we can still do in lessons during that time.  One fun idea I heard from a piano teacher that I started to do is to have the student sign one of my “one hand only” books and write down what their injury was and how it happened (if they want).  Then I take a picture of them at the piano with the book.

There aren’t a lot of one-handed piano books out there.  But don’t worry too much about that.  You can take any piece that doesn’t have hands together (these are typically primer pieces but not always) and make them “one-handed” pieces.  I happen to own a Yamaha grand with a Disclavier.  So another thing that I can have students do is have the Disclavier play one “hand” while the student is playing the other.  If you have midi accompaniment or CD’s that go along with their music.  They can use background music to make their pieces sound more full when they are just playing one hand.  With some injuries, doctors actually encourage students to continue playing as part of their recovery therapy.  Be sure to find out if this is the case with your students.

I have put together a parent handout for these instances.  This will give a list of ideas of what we can do during lessons while they are recovering.  They can choose their favorites of the list or I can suggest a good plan of action.  Feel free to print below and share with your parents when the time comes.


  1. Sheryl Welles

    Wonderful idea! I actually could use this myself right now!! Thank you for sharing! I did have a student last year who broke her arm and we had to get quite creative! This is a great resource.

  2. Luke Bartolomeo

    I agree completely! Sometimes I think parents feel like they would be wasting their money by continuing lessons while a student is temporarily one-handed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks for sharing the great info sheet to give to parents.

    For anyone interested, I’ve found a list of repertoire suggestions for piano, one-hand. It’s not a huge list, but it does provide several suggestions starting at the elementary level and ranging up to the “exceedingly difficult” level. The website is

    There seems to be decidedly more repertoire written for left hand alone, but the list does contain some pieces for just right hand as well.


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