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 college and practicing five to eight hours a day despite a lot of pain. Being under the assumption that pain was a part of becoming a musician, I never thought I was headed for any real trouble. As the symptoms of dystonia began to show, I felt that the more I practiced the worse my playing seemed to get. I felt as though my hands were moving in slow motion. It was like being in a dream and trying to run. My fingers felt sluggish and the harder I tried to make them move the more heavy and slow they felt. Eventually it got to a point where I would play a descending scale passage and my fingers would curl up under my hand after playing.

After a particularly frustrating day of practice, I was on my way home when I felt the third and fourth fingers of my right hand pull together in a sort of cramp or spasm. I tried to massage it away, but I couldn’t. I stuck my hand deep into my pocket and continued walking when I felt a sensation that seemed to be creeping through my right hand. All of my fingers were curling into a fist. There was no pain, only a light squeezing of muscles. Three hours after my right hand closed up I felt my left hand third and fourth fingers pull together, just as my right hand had done. I felt like I was living my own private horror movie, knowing what was going to happen to my hand, being unable to stop it, and only being able to watch and feel this odd sensation take over.

I started to take lessons with Robert Durso, an expert Taubman teacher, and began to learn how to replace my old movements with healthy new ones. My body responded favorably and my dystonia was gone within a year’s time. The Taubman technique unifies fingers, hand and forearm, so that they all move together in a coordinate way. Many other piano techniques are based on, among other things, developing strong fingers by isolating them, stretching them and making them play down hard into the keys.

The amazing thing to me is that Dorothy Taubman never set out to develop a method to cure injured pianists. Her main intention was to teach people to play as virtuosos, but, in doing, so, she realized that the motions that were involved in virtuoso playing also cured injuries.

Every so often I run across an article or website about dystonia stating that there is no cure. It brings me much sadness to think of the negative impact this information has on people. After eight months the worst of my dystonia was over. After two years of retraining my technique I returned to school and finished my Bachelor’s. I have now complete my Master’s degree in piano performance. Not only am I free from dystonia, but I am playing difficult pieces with more precision and artistic statement than I ever did before my injury. I cannot imagine what it is like for people who struggle with the injury for years, and are told they will never be healed. I hope my story will offer insight and inspiration.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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