About the Taubman Approach

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Students of the Taubman Approach report accomplishing tone, effortlessness, and ease beyond their wildest dreams

About The Taubman Approach

Decades ago, Dorothy Taubman’s genius led her to analyze what underlies virtuoso piano playing. The result of that investigation has produced a body of knowledge that can lead to an effortless and brilliant technique. It can also prevent and cure fatigue, pain and other playing-related injuries.

The Taubman Approach is a groundbreaking analysis of the mostly invisible motions that function underneath a virtuoso technique. The resulting knowledge makes it possible to help pianists overcome technical limitations as well as cure playing-related injuries. It is also the way that tone production and other components of expressive playing can be understood and taught.

Edna Golandsky is the person with whom Dorothy Taubman worked most closely. In 1976 Ms. Golandsky conceived the idea of establishing an Institute where people could come together during the summer and pursue an intensive investigation of the Taubman Approach. She encouraged Mrs. Taubman to establish the Taubman Institute, which they ran together as co-founders. Mrs. Taubman was Executive Director and Ms. Golandsky served as Artistic Director. Almost from the beginning, Mrs. Taubman entrusted Ms. Golandsky with the planning and programming of the annual summer session. She gave daily lectures on the Taubman Approach and later conducted master classes as well. As the face of the Taubman Approach, Ms. Golandsky discusses each of its elements in a ten-volume video series.

Mrs. Taubman has written, “I consider her the leading authority on the Taubman approach to instrumental playing.”

For more information about the Taubman Approach, please visit the Golandsky Institute.

About Edna Golandsky

Edna Golandsky is the leading exponent of the Taubman Approach. She has earned wide acclaim throughout the United States and abroad for her extraordinary ability to solve technical problems and for her penetrating musical insight. She received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, following which she continued her studies with Dorothy Taubman.

Performers and students from around the world come to study, coach and consult with Ms. Golandsky. A pedagogue of international renown, she has a long-established reputation for the expert diagnosis and treatment of problems such as fatigue, pain and serious injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, focal dystonia, thoracic outlet syndrome, tennis and golfer’s elbow and ganglia. She has been a featured speaker at many music medicine conferences. She is also an adjunct professor of piano at the City University of New York (CUNY).

Ms. Golandsky has lectured and conducted master classes at some of the most prestigious music institutions in the United States, including the Eastman School of Music, Yale University, the Curtis Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory.  She has also guest lectured at Cambridge University and Harvard, where her teachings are used as part of a graduate level course. Internationally, she has given seminars in Korea, in Israel, and in Canada at both McGill University and the Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montreal. In 2001 she was a guest lecturer at the European Piano Teachers’ Association in Oxford, England, and in July 2003 she conducted a symposium in Lecce, Italy.

In the fall of 2003 Ms. Golandsky participated in the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Nashville and in March 2004 she lectured at the National Conference of the Music Teachers’ National Association in Kansas City.

In June 2003 Ms. Golandsky and senior faculty members previously with the Taubman Institute formed the Golandsky Institute, which is dedicated to the advancement of the Taubman Approach. She led the Golandsky Institute’s first annual Summer Symposium at Princeton University in July 2004. The Institute is currently in residence at Princeton University every summer to conduct its symposium and festival.

Edna Golandsky is the person with whom Dorothy Taubman worked most closely. In 1976 Ms. Golandsky conceived the idea of establishing an Institute where people could come together during the summer and pursue an intensive investigation of the Taubman Approach. She encouraged Mrs. Taubman to establish the Taubman Institute, which they ran together as co-founders. Mrs. Taubman was Executive Director and Ms. Golandsky served as Artistic Director. Almost from the beginning, Mrs. Taubman entrusted Ms. Golandsky with the planning and programming of the annual summer session. She gave daily lectures on the Taubman Approach and later conducted master classes as well. As the face of the Taubman Approach, Ms. Golandsky discusses each of its elements in a ten-volume video series. Mrs. Taubman has written, “I consider her the leading authority on the Taubman approach to instrumental playing.”

Edna Golandsky’s lectures have broadened the Taubman Approach and imparted it to many people who have come to benefit from it. As her knowledge deepened over the years, she continued to develop new material. One of the results is the recently released 3-disc DVD set of her lectures and master class entitled The Art of Rhythmic Expression, which has been heaped with praise from around the world. Michelle Conda says in American Music Teacher, “The pieces presented came alive to me in a whole new way through Golandsky explanations…Most importantly, Golandsky based her ideas on the music, not on the ‘this is the way I do it, you should do it the same way’ approach.”

In the May/June 2006 issue of Clavier, the reviewers “highly recommend” the DVD set as “an informative and inspiring tool, presented in a convincing manner by an excellent teacher.”

David Martin, a writer for the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) Piano Professional, states “Golandsky proves once again that through shaping, tone production and the correct emphasis of beats, rhythmic vitality, flow and swing can be achieved” and “this collection of DVDs will strengthen your own expertise to a much deeper level and I warmly recommend these from a powerful standpoint in piano pedagogy.”

Don Glanden, Chairman of the Piano Department, University of the Arts, writes, “The Golandsky Institute has contributed an important and innovative work with the release of this three disc set. Ms. Golandsky gives a fresh perspective on the development of rhythmic piano performance and continues to explore a new paradigm in piano pedagogy. Not to be overlooked is the enjoyment of hearing Edna Golandsky perform extended excerpts from the musical examples provided with the DVDs. Her pianism is extraordinary . . . and she swings!”

I am currently pursuing a PhD research degree on issues of piano technique. This will be materialised through comparative analysis of various methods that have dealt with piano technique with consideration of the laws of anatomy, physiology, physics and to… Read more “Christos Noulis”

Christos Noulis
PhD candidate, Birmingham Conservatoire

I finished watching all of the Taubman videos today, and I continue to be utterly enthralled by the revolutionary body of knowledge they represent.  The videos have been an invaluble asset in clarifying and enhancing my understanding of the Taubman… Read more “John Patrick Connolly, Jr.”

John Patrick Connolly, Jr.
Gilleece Doctoral Fellow, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York

By the time I was 19 I was ready to give up and burn the piano because of the ever increasing pain to me forearms and mental burden it brought on.  All of the master classes I played at to… Read more “Angelo Campana”

Angelo Campana
Australia

Dearest Edna, I just finished watching the DVD where you gave a master class on the Chopin Ballade G Minor.  I loved everything you showed us.  I am trying to incorporate some of the same ideas in the A flat… Read more “Josie Gebhardt”

Josie Gebhardt
Rochester, New York

The even tone that results when the forearm, hand, and fingers are connected allows for accents and idiomatic jazz articulations but frees me from the strong finger vs. weak finger problem…The physical freedom offered by the Taubman approach is the… Read more “Don Glanden”

Don Glanden
Chairman of the Piano Department, University of the Arts

Edna has taught me to play without fatigue, pain, and tension, but . . . with an ease and proficiency that is a delight to my hands and heart. I have also discovered my tone growing in strength and color.… Read more “Linette A. Popoff-Parks”

Linette A. Popoff-Parks
Professor and Chair, Music Department, Madonna University

Though there is the need for supervision at the beginning of retraining, the skills Mr. [John] Bloomfield (Golandsky Institute teacher) teaches are relatively easy to learn and retain. In addition, this program is much less costly and time-consuming than the… Read more “Cynthia A. Rose, R.N.”

Cynthia A. Rose, R.N.

The clear and convicing physical truths about the Taubman approach presented in the 10 videos have all been confirmed in my experience at the keyboard – it feels so great to play the piano now.

Luke Maasry
Student, Eastman School of Music

Attending the Golandsky Institute’s Summer Symposium, I discovered that a lot of people came because they were injured. I hadn’t realized that the Taubman approach could be used to cure playing-related injuries. As a doctor, this was very interesting to… Read more “Karin Boisvert, MD”

Karin Boisvert, MD
Quebec, Canada

In December of 1996, my hands closed into fists as result of an injury called dystonia. Dystonia is considered by the medical profession to have no cure. At the time of the injury I was in my second year of… Read more “Barbara Banacos”

Barbara Banacos
Boston, MA

I was profoundly impressed by Edna Golandsky’s deep understanding of piano technique. She is the only person I have ever met who was actually able to explain to me what I was doing naturally at the keyboard.

Francesco Libetta
Concert Pianist; Professor of Piano and Chamber Music, Conservatory Tito Schippa, Lecce, Italy; Subject of Bruno Monsaingeon’s video, "Pianist of the Impossible"

Edna Golandsky is a consummate expert of piano technique and musical artistry. The depth of her analytical ability surpasses anything I have encountered. Her work frees performers, enabling them to realize their full potential.

Ilya Itin
Concert pianist; 1st prize and special Chopin Prize, Robert Casadesus Int’l Piano Competition; 1991 Cleveland 1st prize; Contemporary Music Award and BBC TV viewers poll, Leeds Int’l Piano Competition; 1996 UK

Impressive results with the Taubman approach in relieving and preventing inuries and also facilitating greater accomplishment at the piano appears to me to be a gross understatement.

Leo Gorelkin, MD
Long Island, NY

Before I studied with Edna Golandsky I had tremendous shoulder pain and my sound was weak. I felt that my technique had gone as far as it could go and that there was no hope for improvement. As a result… Read more “Thomas Bagwell”

Thomas Bagwell
BM, Mannes College of Music; MM, Manhattan School of Music; Assistant Conductor, Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Santa Fe Opera; Faculty, Mannes College of Music; previously taught at Yale University, Marlboro Festival; Recitals with Midori, Marilyn Horne, Frederica Von Stade, James Morris and Roberta Peters

I [have] talked to many individuals who had incapacitating use injuries and had not received any benefit from consultations with neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and those dealing in alternative approaches such as acupuncture. It is remarkable how many of… Read more “H. Franklin Bunn, MD”

H. Franklin Bunn, MD
Professor, Harvard Medical School

The Golandsky Institute is an important pedagogical institution not just for the thoroughness with which it deals with technical concerns at the piano but also for the emphasis it places on the music first.

Bill Charlap

I find more and more that the only way a performing musician can cope with this level of stress is to have a solid technique background that he/she can depend on consistently.

Gilson Schachnik
Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music

The info is unrivaled…Yesterday, I went to an EPTA [European Piano Teachers Association]  meeting…I took the Taubman Techniques videos and Choreography of the Hands, those piano teachers were astounded!!!  Edna, you would have cracked up laughing inside, they couldn’t get… Read more “David Martin”

David Martin
UK

I worked with Edna Golandsky for 10-15 minutes each day for two weeks. We started retraining from the beginning, dropping on one finger at a time, then learning the 5-finger pattern and finally starting the C major scale. For the… Read more “Maureen Volk”

Maureen Volk
Professor, School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland; BM, University of Regina (Canada); MM, Juilliard; DMA, Indiana University

The movements are designed to put you in the optimum position for every note…you have more control over the sound of every note.

Tom Lawton
Temple University