Victor Dizon, MA
I was first introduced to Edna Golandsky and the Taubman work by a friend in the Philippines who had master classes with her. I was a year away from graduating with my Bachelor of Music degree and thus was preparing for my graduation recital. I was also in the process of applying for a Master’s program in the United States. My friend told me that if I was interested in doing my graduate studies in the U.S., I should try to get in touch with Edna to see about possibly studying with her. He showed me the videos of his master classes and I was immediately taken by what I saw. I sent her tapes and videos of some of my performances with a letter stating my interest in studying with her. I explained that I wanted to improve my playing so that I could overcome the limitations and problems I was experiencing.
I was accepted by her, as well as the graduate program at the City College of New York. I came here thinking I would finish a Master’s degree in two years and then go home to share what I learned. I changed my plans after I found out that many of my problems were due to dystonia in the second finger of my right hand, a condition that can take some time to correct. After already having played big and difficult pieces, it was not easy to accept the fact that I had to go back to basics such as five- finger patterns and scale passages. But the fact that my left hand was not injured and thus picked up the technique quite easily made me realize what learning this work could do for me. So I stayed on, and every lesson became the highlight of my week — always learning new things and at the same time feeling better and better on the piano.
I have been with Edna for a few years now and there is no sign of dystonia. I’ve regained control of my right hand and am slowly building repertoire. These days, pieces which seemed difficult before are surprisingly attainable. Gone are the days of hour?long warm ups that leave me tired before I even start playing my pieces — I basically sit at the piano and start playing right away, fingers moving easily. If a problem arises, Edna has a solution. Finally, there is an answer to every technical problem that comes up.
Though my injury is gone, I am still refining my technique. At the same time, we are starting to work on the other aspect of performance — that of expressing the music. Here is where one discovers the true impact of the Taubman technique, as well as the vast knowledge that Edna can impart. With the coordinate movements of the technique as well as my teacher’s keen ear and knowledge of music, tone, phrasing, rhythm and so forth, I can finally realize and do what I want with the music. Now I know that limitations in expressing the music are not a result of an under?practiced OR over?practiced hand, but rather of some missing elements in the playing. I still have a lot to learn, but I know I’m learning the right way with the right teacher. It feels good to play again.
Victor Dizon, MA, Piano Performance