I know we've discussed this before, but it's really bugging me at the moment, and I'm assuming that I've misunderstood some of you in the past.
I almost never instruct a pupil to play with all five fingertips actually resting on the keys even from the early stages. They may place them on to make sure they're in the right position once or twice, but after that, a run of CDEFG should start with just the thumb making contact, and by the time the G sounds, the thumb and 2 and 3 should be well away. Yet I have inherited pupils who keep the fingers on the keys and say they have been taught to do this. The child I taught this afternoon said this, though on cross-examination she said it could be that she had just never been taught not to. She was finding it quite awkward manoevring her way around the melody, although once I managed to encourage her only to have one finger on the keyboard at any one time (well, obviously there's a brief take-over for transfer of weight) she was much more confident.
When I asked a few months ago I got the impression that several of you disagreed with me about this, saying the fingers should stay on the keys - I was surprised, because I am sure that none of you actually play that way. That's why I think I must have misunderstood.
If a child plays a phrase in a "5 over 5" position (5 fingers over 5 consecutive notes) and then has to play it an octave higher, do you (a) tell them to place their fingers on the new 5 notes first, or (b) drop just the starting finger on the correct note?
I've always maintained that you have the greatest contol over the tone of the note if it's approached as near as possible from above, and with the last joint as near vertical as possible, and with all the joints free to flex or straighten just like robot arms. The fingertip doesn't need to lift very far, maybe half a centimetre is enough. I thought for a long time that obviously everyone taught that way.
(Sorry about the typo in the heading and any I've missed in the post: my space bar is dying)