The following represents portions of a response to a letter in Clavier magazine, January 1999.
… For those unfamiliar with this neuro-muscular problem, it is particularly frustrating in two ways. Firstly, the condition is not necessarily painful, so it can progress quietly to a debilitating level. Secondly, the problem is primarily involuntary, so it is the most difficult of all arts medicine injuries to overcome. In addition, dystonia is a physical puzzle that medical research has not yet solved.
I worked with Edna Golandsky to overcome my specific problem, the control of the right index finger. Because this particular pedagogy is both pioneering and scientific, the understanding gained from working with one person adds to the knowledge available to the next. Perhaps for that reason I had positive results in regaining the fluency in my right hand.
Fortunately, I began working with Edna Golandsky within eight months after I realized I had a problem. Beginning in the fall of 1992, I commuted for lessons twice a month for the first nine months. After that, because of my schedule and money, sessions were less frequent.
In spite of a frustrating setback – I broke my right wrist in the fall of 1996 – I made remarkable progress and feel fortunate to have found someone who both understands the injury and has the insight to correct it. While I still need to make progress in certain fast passages, I will perform with two hands again this year in a recital that includes a variety of pieces, ranging from Debussy Feux d’artifice, Chopin Barcarolle, Bartok Suite Op. 14, and a group of Brahms pieces from Op. 76 and 118.
I am indeed grateful to Edna Golandsky, Dorothy Taubman, and to all dystonia students who came before me.
Greenville, South Carolina