I was diagnosed with focal dystonia in 1990 after having earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance, as well as Solo Piano and Chamber Music Diplomas in Europe. After being told there was no “cure” or even effective therapy to deal with my condition, I spent the next ten years devising my own exercises and technical tricks (redistributing notes from right to left hand, leaving out problematic notes, etc.) that kept me going as a professional pianist. I maintained a full performing schedule, but was always uncomfortable and unsatisfied with my performances.
Edna Golandsky was invited to give a lecture and master class at the university where I was teaching. She piqued my interest, but the Taubman Approach seemed to be an esoteric system only accessible to severely injured pianists who could no longer play at all, and I thought that wasn’t me! I did have a private coaching with Edna and she was very supportive and encouraging.
With a grant from the institution with which I was associated, I attended two Taubman summer sessions, and I was convinced that this was the way forward for me. I spent the next two years traveling to New York on a monthly basis and incorporating the technique into my playing: the results have been remarkable. I have just finished accompanying 8 recitals and various juries, competitions and concerts in the last 2 months and am free of the technical limitations that have inhibited my artistic and musical expression for the last 10 years. I credit the patience, concern and support of John Bloomfield and Edna Golandsky for my return to pianistic well-being: I now enjoy playing the piano again, and look forward to my practicing and performing in a way that I have not for a long time.
For any pianist who is unsatisfied musically or technically, I cannot encourage strongly enough that he or she give the Taubman Approach a try. I was certainly skeptical at first, but am now totally convinced that it can make a dramatic difference in one’s pianistic and musical life.