What is Taubman Approach?

‘This is a science of movement and alignment that once achieved provides for the overcoming of injury, limitations and lack of pianistic control” as Mr. Durso nicely puts it.

When playing the piano, we don’t actively use large muscle groups. We are using very small muscles to make very small motions. That’s why we don’t need to build muscles or endurance. That’s why even a 6-year-old child can play so well. What we are born with is enough to play with velocity, volume, color and ease unless there is an abnormality. We just need to know how to use the parts responsible for playing the piano.

Decades ago, Dorothy Taubman‘s genius led her to analyse what underlies virtuoso piano playing. The result of that investigation has produced a body of knowledge that can lead to an effortless and brilliant technique. It can also prevent and cure fatigue, pain and other playing-related injuries.

The Taubman Approach is a groundbreaking analysis of the mostly invisible motions that function underneath a virtuoso technique. The resulting knowledge makes it possible to help pianists overcome technical limitations as well as cure playing-related injuries. It is also the way that tone production and other components of expressive playing can be understood and taught.

What is our aim on the Taubman Approach?

Playing the instrument that we love as good as possible without feeling any pain, any musical or technical limitation or fatigue. But playing the piano is very personal, intimate and complicated.

So how can Taubman Approach achieve that?

80 years ago that was the question Dorothy Taubman asked herself? First came her discoveries, which led to a body of knowledge, and from that body of knowledge, she and her most devoted teachers have developed pedagogy to help people feel and experience her discoveries. When the knowledge is properly taught, someone can become the best pianist she/he meant to be.

What do we have?

– CURIOSITY
– AN OPEN MIND
– WILL
– BODY THAT FUNCTIONS

What do we need?

– INFORMATION/KNOWLEDGE
– AWARENESS&OBSERVATION
– WORK WITH GRAVITY
– ALWAYS BE AWARE THAT THE FINGER-HAND AND FOREARM ARE ALIGNED
– ALWAYS FEELING FREE (BUT NOT RELAXED) THAT RESULTS IN SOLIDITY
– TIMING
– Because it goes beyond your present awareness you need AN EXPERT TAUBMAN/GOLANDSKY TEACHER THAT CAN DIAGNOSE PROBLEMS AND OFFER SOLUTIONS TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS.

Some people learn faster than others but all of this takes an amount of time and it takes adjustment. Different than traditional teaching; it is a PARTNERSHIP between student and teacher. With the right teacher and a committed student the learning experience will be full of enlightenment, joy and quantifiable results; results that you can measure.

GETTING THE MAXIMUM RESULTS WITH MINIMUM EFFORT

The Fundamentals of Taubman Approach

The motions that cause problems:

1) Isolating (the fingers that lead to)
2) Stretching
3) Collapsing (RELAXING THE WRIST)
4) Curling
5) Twisting

these motions cause the body to move improperly which is the cause of tension.

VARIOUS ASPECTS THAT MAKE UP THE TAUBMAN APPROACH
We can move in a way that doesn’t produce tension. The best way to move is to move in the mid-range of motion. The extreme range of motion brings tension and difficulty.

FREEDOM, ALIGNMENT AND MOVEMENT RESULT IN SOLIDITY WHICH FEELS EASY
No tension, no relaxation. Don’t force or try very hard.

SITTING at the right height and distance from the piano is at most importance. The purpose of sitting is to put us at the best mechanical advantage.

TORSO (UPPER BODY) IS A BIT LEANING FORWARD, according to the changes of register it moves sideways and slightly forward in one piece and any movement of torso should come from the sit bones.

ALIGNMENT

DON’T LOSE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE FINGERS, HAND AND FOREARM. THEY ARE THE PARTS THAT INITIATE MOTION. They move together actively. Even though it responds, upper arm just follows.

ALIGNMENT OF THE FINGER, HAND AND FOREARM
Free Forearm
Body is Comfortable but not relaxed
Turning in one piece
Feel the support of the forearm and elbow behind each playing finger
Fulcrums stay in their natural alignment
Fingers move with the hand and forearm, not ahead of it.
Releasing is important (it is not the same as letting the key go). When you release properly the finger that has been released moves closer to the playing finger in a natural way
Give just enough to put the key down

MOVEMENTS

– ROTATION: THE SINGLE AND DOUBLE ROTATIONS

– IN & OUT

– WALKING HAND AND FOREARM

– SHAPING

OTHER CONCEPTS/EXTENSIONS
– FINGERING

– GROUPING

– INTERDEPENDENCE

– ENSLAVEMENT TO NOTATION

Although it might seem complicated at the beginning, the experience at the end of pure ease is very simple.

It’s the way coordination works (example: learning to ride the bicycle)

Like in dancing, Ms. Taubman has given us choreography. Like any good choreography, you have basic movements that become combined with other movements to produce something that is GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.

Dorothy Taubman

Decades ago, Dorothy Taubman‘s genius led her to analyse what underlies virtuoso piano playing. The result of that investigation has produced a body of knowledge that can lead to an effortless and brilliant technique. It can also prevent and cure fatigue, pain and other playing-related injuries.

Edna Golandsky

Edna Golandsky is the person with whom Dorothy Taubman worked most closely. In 1976 Ms. Golandsky conceived the idea of establishing an Institute where people could come together during the summer and pursue an intensive investigation of the Taubman Approach. She encouraged Mrs. Taubman to establish the Taubman Institute, which they ran together as co-founders. Mrs. Taubman was Executive Director and Ms. Golandsky served as Artistic Director. Almost from the beginning, Mrs. Taubman entrusted Ms. Golandsky with the planning and programming of the annual summer session. She gave daily lectures on the Taubman Approach and later conducted master classes as well. As the face of the Taubman Approach, Ms. Golandsky discusses each of its elements in a ten-volume video series.

The Golandsky Institute

The Golandsky Institute is the preeminent center for the teaching of the Taubman Approach, which gives pianists the tools to play with brilliance and ease. The Taubman Approach has also been developed for stringed instruments.

The Golandsky Institute instructs pianists in the skills that enable them to realize their highest potential as performing artists. It also teaches them how to overcome technical limitations and recover from playing-related injuries. It provides training for teachers in the diagnostic tools necessary to teach healthful skills to musicians of all levels. Through educational programs, professional collaborations, continued research and multi-media publications, the Golandsky Institute seeks to raise the awareness of the musical community and the public at large to the problems musicians face and the solutions available to them.

The Golandsky Institute was established in 2003 by Edna GolandskyJohn BloomfieldRobert Durso and Mary Moran to bring high-level training in the Taubman Approach to the musical community. This Approach has proven to be highly effective in the resolution of technical limitations and playing-related injuries. The aim of the Institute is to provide musicians with a foundation that allows for full artistic expression and the development of virtuosic technical ability.