Q&A 6

If you have questions concerning the Taubman Technique, you can now leave them in comments on this blog.

Time may not allow me to answer all your questions but those selected to be answered will be taped every few weeks and shown here. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


Q&A 6. Chopin Scherzo No2./ M.545-582

About golandsky
Edna Golandsky is the leading exponent of the Taubman Approach. She has earned wide acclaim throughout the United States and abroad for her extraordinary ability to solve technical problems and for her penetrating musical insight. She received both her bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School, following which she continued her studies with Dorothy Taubman. Performers and students from around the world come to study, coach, and consult with Ms. Golandsky. A pedagogue of international renown, she has a long-established reputation for the expert diagnosis and treatment of problems such as fatigue, pain, and serious injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, focal dystonia, thoracic outlet syndrome, tennis and golfer’s elbow, and ganglia. She has been a featured speaker at many music medicine conferences. She is also an adjunct professor of piano at the City University of New York (CUNY). Ms. Golandsky has lectured and conducted master classes at some of the most prestigious music institutions in the United States, including the Eastman School of Music, Yale University, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory. Internationally, she has given seminars in Canada, Holland, Israel, Korea, Panama, and Turkey. In 2001 she was a guest lecturer at the European Piano Teachers’ Association in Oxford, England, and in July 2003 she conducted a symposium in Lecce, Italy. In August 2010, she gave a master class and judged in a piano competition at the Chatauqua Festival. She was a guest presenter at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in 2003 and 2009 and was engaged to return in October 2010. In 2011 she was a guest presenter at the Music Teachers National Association in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the Piano Teachers Congress of New York; and the Music Teachers Association of California. She gave week-long workshops at the Panama Jazz Festival at 2009 and 2010 and will return in 2012. For the past three years, Ms. Golandsky and violinist Sophie Till have been working on a detailed application of the Taubman principles for string players. An instructional book about beginning lessons in the Taubman Approach for violinists is slated to come out in the future. Ms. Golandsky’s application of the work for computer users has resulted in Healthy Typing, an instructional DVD. 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. Mrs. Taubman has written, “I consider her the leading authority on the Taubman Approach to instrumental playing.”

2 Responses to Q&A 6

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Edna. I’m an amateur pianist in my 40s based in Australia. I’ve played the piano since I was 13 and completed Grade 8 in my 20s.

    I’ve had about 5 or so lessons with Justin Jacobs last year in an effort to resolve some discomfort I’m experiencing from activating the flexor muscles in the middle of my right arm. On bad days I get this burning / pinching sensation and simply have to stop and rest for 2 or 3 days. I’ve experienced this on and of, for over a year now to the extent that I can be laying on the couch doing nothing and feel discomfort. What started at the piano is now creeping into everyday life.

    In lessons with Justin I’ve been generally ok, but when practicing by myself I’m clearly doing something wrong; but what? It’s strange as I’m concious of not curling, not keybedding, being balanced over my fingers when playing and not raising my fingers in isolation. So it’s very confusing as I can’t kinathetically work out what movement wise I’m doing wrong and why this keeps happening.

    I must admit I do at times find it hard to get the balance right between active fingers and a supportive forearm. If my fingers are not active enough I develop/carry tension in my wrist and forearm as if the energy is getting stuck there. If I focus too much on the hand and sitting too upright or even leaning back, the forearm can relax too much reverting to my old ways of playing based on the suspension bridge model between shoulder and hand with a collapsed wrist.

    I’m currently working on Ravel’s A la maniere de Borodine and measure 34 is very uncomfortable to play for my RH. In this one short measure I can sometimes feel the flexors close to the wrist working overtime, even if I play with light touch. In measure 34 I play 4th finger in RH on Db, and C and 3rd on Cb. 5th finger makes it worse. Meausre 33 is thankfully quite comfortable to play.

    I was hoping you could visually show a solution to this measure and also explain the role of the flexors in the arm in the Taubman approach? I also ask as Ive been reading ‘Mastering the Chopin Etudes’ by Alan Kogosowski; a free PDF excerpt from his book available online. On page 50 he discusses the role of the flexors favouring the small muscles in the hand. He writes “when we play…we must PULL the keys. We can and should pull them with intensity…but pull them we must, not strike them with longer muscles…the extensors”. My understanding is that pulling and ‘grabbing’ the keys is not ok in the Taubman technique. If I grab I curl.

    So what is the role of the flexors in both the hand and forearm? How much should we feel them working?

    Kind regards


  2. golandsky says:

    Hello Andrew, I understand your confusion and it can be resolved but it’s not for the blog. I can recommend a couple of things. You can get in touch with Therese Milanovic in Brisbane who is one of our certified teachers, or if you prefer for me to see you first, we can set up a skype lesson. All the best to you!

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