I started learning the piano about a year ago (turning 17 this year), and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, school came in between and I had to put learning the piano on pause. During the time I was learning, the teacher I consulted just for an opinion (I'm self taught) said I was a quick learner etc etc which just boosted my confidence. When I returned to learning a month ago, I rediscovered a huge problem I faced before the break. My hands are too small. As you might've figured by the title, I'm disabled. My hands are pretty much like oven mitts but really small. The maximum distance I can cover is that of 3 keys. (I know, it's horrifying) So I'm looking for music that I can play. To serve as a benchmark, I was able to learn and play 'River Flows In You' by Yiruma perfectly, without altering any notes. I've attached a drawing of my hands for 'visual reference'Drawing of hand The right hand's identical, excluding the tiny nail.

Sincerely, Shagnik

3 Answers 3


You should be on the lookout for pieces with maximum held intervals of a 3rd or smaller (or maybe a 4th if your hands grow larger). Bach's Inventions are pretty good, as they only require one finger per hand and can be played in a detached style. If all else fails but you have a good ear, there's always playing arrangements/transcriptions of stuff you've only heard--i.e. making your own arrangements.

Here's hoping you develop good (alternate, not what the publishers suggest) fingerings for these pieces. Start half-ignoring those tiny "1"s through "5"s on notes en masse.

If I slip up and those pieces require larger held intervals, arpeggiating them should be fine.

  • 4
    +1 Just wanted to add that a good teacher should be able to help with the re-arrangements. At least my teachers taught me how to simplify music.
    – Arsak
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 18:15

I have a "strange" suggestion: Consider playing the organ. Really. You have, in addition to the manual(s) a pedal that is played by feet.

I believe that with some training, you should be able to play either organ pieces intended for manuals, playing the lowest notes on pedal, or organ pieces intended for manuals and pedal, because there commonly at least one hand is easier to play, which could help. Also, organ is less sensitive to touch if that were an issue.


You are obviously going to have problems developing a 'classic' technique!

But let me share an encounter I had recently with a theatre Musical Director here in London, UK. He was a very accomplished pianist. But when I looked at his hands, I was amazed to see he barely had fingers at all - beyond the first joint there was... nothing. His technique was unorthodox, but he could certainly PLAY! And so, I'm sure, can you.

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    Although it does not answer the question, strictly speaking, I still like this answer. Encouragement is not out of place when someone is facing such an obstacle, and knowing that there are musicians who play well with similar disabilities is encouraging indeed. Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 4:13

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