Fingers should not be slaves. There should be a partnership between the brain, the fingers and the ear. So, you use logical thought to figure out how to do something, the best fingering or whatever, then fingers and hands try it. If it feels uncomfortable for the fingers, then it’s time for fingers and brain to negotiate a compromise. Then the ear has to have its say and this is important because the whole act of piano playing is for constant pursuit of the right sound. If it sounds good, do it. If not, brain and fingers must find another way.
“The tip of the fingers must always be alert”. According to the wonderful Mr. Boris Berman; “every instrumentalist or singer strives to achieve clarity of performance, and for each of them one or more parts of the body are responsible for enunciation. For singers as well as woodwind players these are the lips and the tongue; for string players it is the right arm that brings the bow into contact with the strings. For pianists, this function is performed by the fingertips”.
Elbows are reactive, not active. Your fingers go someplace, the elbow reacts. The elbow (and all of the rest of the arm) doesn’t get to lead.
Rotations and circles are good. All human movement is circular (think about walking, for instance). We rarely move in a series of super-straight lines. Therefore it feels natural to incorporate circular movement in piano-playing.
Your fingers are all different lengths so you have to compensate for that e.g. with rotation of the wrist. Also, thumbs are amazing.
So I’m pretty glad I decided to go back to uni to do Honours this year because in a short time, I’ve really learnt a huge amount. Seriously, within my first few lessons I had more new information than I had after three years of doing my degree. What’s best of all is that I feel like I am finally getting to a stage where I can work autonomously, making my own decisions and doing my own problem solving to reach my desired result. And this is only the start! I have so much more to find out about and to learn.