The Professional Training Program has three levels of certification: Instructor, Associate, Master Teacher. The following lists the requirements to achieve Certification as a teacher of the Taubman Approach.

Prerequisite for Admission to the Professional Training Program

The candidate must have pursued serious musical training and be able to play and teach advanced repertoire.30 to 60 hours of private study with a Golandsky Institute faculty member and this teacher's recommendation.Supervised lessons with at least two students who demonstrate an understanding of basic Taubman principles. A potential candidate’s supervising teacher must have seen enough examples of teaching to support admission to the program. Candidates for certification will then be enrolled in the program by their supervising teacher.

Requirements for Certification

Private Study

  • 40 – 80 additional hours of private study and/or the recommendation of the private teacher.
  • Understanding of the fundamentals of the Taubman Approach and their implementation in music from the beginner through the intermediate levels of repertoire.

Supervised Teaching

  • 40 units of supervised teaching and/or the recommendation of the private teacher. (Note: For supervised teaching, one unit of study is equal to 30 minutes. Practice Assistance will be considered as part of this requirement if they are assisting their own students under the supervision of a faculty member.)
  • Three students who show solid understanding of the skills necessary to play correctly five fingers and a scale using the Taubman Approach.
  • Three students who demonstrate the fundamentals of the Taubman Approach in level-appropriate repertoire.


  • 55 units Golandsky Institute participation to include: 2 Summer Institutes @ 15 units each, 3 Teacher Trainings @ 5 units each and 1 other Workshop @ 10 units. (Note: A minimum level of participation is expected. Failure to participate in any one category for 6 months could result in suspension from the program.)

Prerequisites to the Associate Program

  • Certification at the Instructor level
  • Teacher recommendation

Requirements for Certification

Private Study

  • 120 additional hours of private study and/or the recommendation of the private teacher
  • The ability to demonstrate all the elements of the Taubman Approach in combination and to solve passage-specific problems.

Supervised Teaching

40 additional units of supervised teaching and/or the recommendation of the private teacher.
Three students who demonstrate solid understanding of the skills necessary to play scales, arpeggios, octaves, chords, trills and tremolo.
Three students who perform all the elements of the Taubman Approach in combination and are able to solve passage-specific problems. (Further clarification: the students must have the fundamental technique working well and are dealing with passage related challenges.)
Three students who integrate the Taubman Approach in 2 works of the late intermediate to early advanced repertoire and demonstrate a high level of musicianship skills.
Theoretical Knowledge (To be determined by the Certification Committee. ( Edna Golandsky, John Bloomfield, Robert Durso, Mary Moran)

95 additional units of the Golandsky Institute participation to include: 3 Summer Institutes, 6 Teacher Trainings and 2 other Workshops.

A performance for the Certification Committee of solo repertoire. (A live or unedited video performance will be accepted.)
Note: A minimum level of participation is expected. Failure to participate in any one category for 6 months could result in suspension from the program.

Prerequisites to the Master Teacher Program

  • Certification at the Associate level
  • Teacher recommendation

Requirements for Certification

Private Study

  • 150 additional hours of private study and/or recommendation by the Board.
  • Playing ability at the advanced level.
  • Demonstration of ability to: use principles of the Taubman Approach; solve passage problems; master the components of musical artistry, such as: phrasing, musical timing and tone etc.
  • 2 lessons per year with Edna Golandsky.

Supervised Teaching

  • 2 supervised teachings per year with Edna Golandsky.
  • Three students who have mastered the fundamentals of the Taubman Approach and are able to solve a majority of passage-related problems.
  • Three students who perform a piece from the advanced repertoire at the level of a public performance for the Certification Committee. A live or video performance will be accepted.

Theoretical Knowledge

  • To be determined by the Certification Committee.


  • Regular attendance at Summer Institutes, Teacher Trainings and other Workshops.


  • A performance for the Certification Committee of solo repertoire. ( A live or unedited video performance will be accepted.)


  • A Final Interview by the Board.
  • Approval of the Board.

Note: A minimum level of participation is expected. Failure to participate in any one category for 6 months could result in suspension from the program.

The Golandsky Institute Teaching Philosophy

Current Participants

Participants in this program are on a pathway to certification by the Golandsky Institute and are recognized as certified instructors after they reach proficiency as capable practitioners of the Taubman Approach.

  • Sadie Brightman (Lincoln, VT), mentored by Yoriko Fieleke and Mary Moran
  • Cheryl Florin (Greater Baltimore Area, MD), mentored by Yoriko Fieleke
  • Sue Paterson-Jones (Cape Town, South Africa), mentored by Therese Milanovic and John Bloomfield
  • Dimitris Kostopoulos (Oslo, Norway), mentored by Edna Golandsky
  • Frances Rorer (Newtown Square, PA), mentored by Robert Durso
  • Rachel Smith (Edinburgh, Scotland), mentored by Sophie Till and Edna Golandsky
  • Nikos Syropoulos (Portland, OR), mentored by Robert Durso
  • Gulchin Tarabus (Portland, OR), mentored by John Bloomfield and Deborah Cleaver


What is the difference between Golandsky Institute faculty and Golandsky Institute certified teachers?

Certification levels and faculty are two different tracks. From time to time they can intersect. We cannot automatically make all certified teachers faculty members. To use the analogy of a college or university, the institution graduates students but does not necessarily place them as faculty members.

What is the relationship between Master Teacher level and associate faculty?

Someone can be at the Master Teacher level of certification and on the associate faculty. To use the analogy of a school’s faculty, one can be a DMA and be an assistant, associate or full professor.

What is the relationship between Master Teacher level certification and faculty?

All Golandsky Institute faculty have reached the Master Teacher level, but not all Master Teachers are faculty.

Can people who are not enrolled in the program but are still students with one of the Board or faculty, bring their own students to the Board for help? Or is this something reserved only for those people in the certification program?

Anyone studying can bring a student whether or not they are in the program. The program was set up from the requests of the participants to have some formal certification for their efforts.

In other teaching programs, one is not expected to be a high-level teacher upon completing the program, not at the beginning. Why is this different?

The Institute needs to see that a teacher has an aptitude to do this kind of work before being admitted to the program. The skills needed to do this work well differ from other disciplines and therefore need to be evaluated on their own terms. When a student “of any level” is observed by a master teacher it is very clear whether the basic skills of the work is present and being taught well. There needs to be some capacity to implement the basic work to be considered a good candidate. The only answer to the question of why would someone need this ability beforehand perhaps is best explained by the fact that there are prerequisites for entering music school. Someone has to audition with a fairly standard program of music performed at a certain level before admission. We are asking to see 2 examples of some capacity to teach the special skills of The Taubman Approach well before entering the program.

What kind of level do the students I present need to be at for me to be admitted into the program?

The level (meaning, beginner, intermediate or advanced) is not the important issue here. What we are looking for is a realistic understanding of the work. It is possible for the work to be taught at every level and we are looking for the teacher to have the ability to implement the skills well enough to show promise.

Then, concerns around that the students who would benefit most from a lesson with a Master teacher are often those who really need the help / are very injured, and not the teacher’s “best” students.

We would suggest substituting ” My best Taubman work” in place of
” Best Student”. This way the emphasis is placed on the Taubman work presented and not the overall level of the student musically. For example a beginner can be taught to line up to the instrument correctly and that can be a challenge of a certain type. However, an advanced pianist can be shown to do this and have their own unique challenges. That in essence is the heart of the complexity here. Reaching all ages, levels and personality types to do the work well. This is the value of the mentoring. To take advantage of the experience of the faculty and executive board to help reach all these types and teach the work well.

The idea that supervision is part of the program, before people register, is not concealed. We want to clarify that people do need to think this aspect through and evaluate whether it works for them financially before applying.

How do I get into the program and fill out an application?

The program begins with a conversation between you and your faculty member teacher.

The faculty member presents the possibility to the board for review and then makes a request for an application from Robert Durso.

At this point the application is sent to the potential participant via email with a one year projection schedule and upon return is evaluated for acceptance by the board.

You return the application via email to bob.durso [at] and send an application fee of $50 made out to the Golandsky Institute.

When do I begin to count units?

Units will begin as soon as you are accepted into the program. Robert Durso will contact you upon acceptance.

I have studied for many years and feel I should be able to count those hours. Why do I need to start from zero?

This is a results based program. If you are more skilled you will advance through the process faster than someone with less experience. No one can apply to this program and be instantly certified. It requires showing your results and meeting the criteria of the program and levels.

People are very confused that observation means watching the master teacher teach the student, rather than the teacher being observed in action by the master teacher. Can you clarify?

The supervised lesson is where the participant brings their student to a faculty or board member to watch that person teach their student. This gives the greatest value. What is very important is for the participant to be able to watch, learn and extract the value from the corrections seen. We want to develop that skill so that the participant will be able to see the larger context of the correction and use it in their other teaching. Watching the participant teach their student in front of the master teacher will cut down the about of information and value that both the student and teacher can receive from a short 30 or 60 minute session.

What about group lessons for a selection of certification participant’s students?

We do not think that group lessons would be productive. The training that is needed is highly specialized and complicated. It works best one on one.

Can any of the supervised lessons be via Skype?

Yes, however, some should be live and that is up to the participant and mentor to decide.

Can supervised lesson hours include the Symposium?

Yes, however, it must be your own student from your home studio that is being seen by the faculty member.

Do private lessons at Symposiums count toward the private lesson category?

Yes, absolutely!

Edna mentioned how successful the Philly workshop was. Would it ever be possible to substitute this one for the NYC Teacher Training?

Yes, Philadelphia would count as a Teacher Training.

Those in the certification program are struggling to find enough time with approved certification mentors (Edna, Bob, John and Mary.) They often have to choose between their own lesson and having their students seen by a teacher.

Is it possible for other faculty members to observe their students and for this to count towards certification?

Yes, we have already decided that any faculty member can see students up to 6 times. After that, the person must be seen by one of the four of us for the lessons to count.

What happens when faculty or associate faculty are mentoring participants?

1. Faculty member, please pick a board member to be the co-mentor with for your participant.

2. A Participant can bring a student to a faculty member 6 times before needing to be seen by the board member on the 7th time. Of these six times only 3 can be via Skype with the faculty member. The other three must be live. After the student is seen by the board member 7 units will be valid to include on your tracking sheet.

3. When the participant is bringing the student to a Board member without the faculty member you must video tape the lesson for the faculty to see later or Skype the faculty member into the session.

4. If you are Skyping the lesson in, both the participant, the student and the faculty member must be present.

5. Final validation of the requirements for certification must be live. What that means is that although you can facilitate the learning with Skype the student must be seen live for a board member to certify the requirements outlined on the website for certification. The 7 units does not automatically certify the work of that student.

Looking ahead somewhat to my completion of the certification program, I'm just wondering how the final assessment / approval takes place, particularly in relation to live versus Skype interaction?

A member of the board (Edna, John, Bob or Mary) will have to evaluate the overall progress with the mentoring teacher to determine if certification is appropriate.

I’m finalizing my certification sheets and I had a question regarding workshops: which of the following can be counted?

  • Mary Moran’s Teaching Children Taubman Approach workshop (is this be counted as teacher training?)
  • John’s Brisbane weekend workshop in January (I think you okayed that one last year)
  • Therese’s workshop on Taubman Approach in Sydney in February?

All workshops given by GI Faculty will count. The idea is to participate as much as possible in this type of setting. It improves your theoretical and practical knowledge.