Many years ago, my grandfather, an Iowa farmer, bought a piano for a dollar at an auction and gave it to my family, because "every child should learn to play the piano." Little did I know that this was the beginning of a fascinating journey that would span my lifetime.
Teaching the Taubman Approach is extremely rewarding. I was first introduced to it in 1991, and since studying the Taubman Approach and getting it into my body, it has given me the tools and knowledge necessary to retrain adult pianists to play without pain, with new-found ease and a beautiful tone. It has also enabled me to guide young children in developing a natural technique and give them a lifelong love of music. The gift of this body of knowledge has enriched my playing and is taking me on a very gratifying journey.
I am in Izmir giving a workshop at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center. It's a beautiful and modern facility that opened 7 years ago. The hall where I am teaching is gorgeous. The participants have been very enthusiastic and the level of playing quite high.
I was injured during the first semester of my graduate studies at Kent State University in Ohio. I had had mild pain in the past, along with an overall sense of technical limitation that I attributed to a lack of practicing, but this was different. Suddenly, almost overnight, I lost the ability to play even simple scales without pain. When other methods of pain relief proved ineffective (I tried massage, acupuncture, Tiger Balm, IcyHot, Epsom salt soaks, ice, ibuprofen, wrist braces, physical therapy, and examination by other piano technique experts), my professor suggested I attend the Golandsky Institute's Summer Symposium in Princeton. After learning about the Taubman Approach, I decided that the only way I would ever be able to pursue life as a musician would be to retrain. It really was a choice between retraining and giving up piano altogether.
Hi. I’m Anthony van den Broek and I run a music studio from my home in Erskineville in Sydney, Australia. It is a bustling studio full to capacity with a very wide range of ages and levels. Erskineville is 3km from the centre of the city and 15 years ago was full of university students, artists and the working class. At that time, my studio consisted of 80% adult students and 20% school-aged students.
I recently learnt that I was one of four pianists worldwide invited to attend the vocal arts program at the Tanglewood Music Center for their 75th anniversary season this coming summer. It has been my dream to attend Tanglewood and I never thought it would happen especially since it was only five years ago that I was seriously considering giving up on music due to a totally debilitating playing related injury.
In pondering my many musical activities and how the Taubman Approach has influenced them, I have come to realize that this body of work permeates every single one of these, even the activities that on first reflection seem only distantly related at most. For instance, one of my favorite musical indulgences is to put together a setlist of tunes for a dance party.