Taubman Approach

June 1, 2011 at 08:13 PM ·

 I just stumbled across the Taubman Approach applied to string players. Although the idea of playing without pain makes me float two feet above my chair, I don't know what to think about the idea of bowing without breaking the wrist. How does that work?

Replies (35)

July 6, 2011 at 08:13 PM ·

Don't ever take advice on violin playing from someone who can't do a decent bow change at the frog. I watched a U-tube video of Sophie Till demonstrating this Taubman approach and I winced and cringed every time she changed from up-bow to down-bow.

Sad to say, everything she said is easily breakable when under close scrutiny and while her advice might be useful to an 18th century violin beginner, it is certainly not so for a 21st century musician. And here's why:

1. The wrist breaking. It refers to the outward or inward bending of the wrist at the tips of the bow. While it is indeed a dangerous practice when done in an exaggerate manner, when performed with discernment and finesse, this is a very important technique for the franco-belgian school when you are at the tip of the bow (bending inwards) and the old-russian school when you are at the frog (bending outwards). The flexibility of the wrist to bend either way (slightly, not too much), coupled with the fingers ability to "roll" the stick (and the hair) at various angles to the string is key to a good bow arm, no matter what your school of playing is.

2. The fingers "breaking" the roundness of the palm by being too curly or too flat or too extended. What about fingered tenths or fugues and Paganini, where you end up tying up your fingers in knots in order to grab a weirdly written chord? Should we avoid them because they make your hand look bad? The idea of the hand acting together is a good one on a limited basis, but Mrs. Till overextends and places a ban on extensions and captive-finger passages? How about banning Sevcik because our hands might stretch a little too much? When a finger adopts a peculiar posture, the hand and neighboring fingers (especially the thumb) move about and adjust to the least stressful position achievable at that moment.

3. Swaying in the same direction as the bow. Oh, really? If there's anything I learned from watching Heifetz and Szeryng play, it is that you do the exact opposite. And it's not so much about swaying your entire body like a tree under the storm, but more like slightly rotating your torso in the contrary direction to that of your bow. If you bring your bow to the frog in an upwards stroke, then you rotate slightly to the right, and if you bring the bow to the tip in a downwards stroke, then you rotate slightly to the right. This is (in Heifetz's words) akin to what a golf player is doing, rotating his body in the opposite direction of the swing in order to keep balance.

To sum it up, this Taubman approach is just another humbug attempt at a "new", "innovative" ... (insert buzzword here) ... miracle-cure to play problem-free. My advice is to keep away from this at a distance of a few parsecs.

July 7, 2011 at 03:46 AM ·

Greetings,

I looked at the five minute video.  Frankly that person seems to be having an awful lot of trouble putting the violin up and has tremendous tension in the right side of her neck.  If even this stage is defective how can one have faith in what come s next?  ;)  Incidentally, on the question of breaking the wrist take a look at the subtle but perfect wrist movement when Heifetz plays.   No words to describe it.   Too late to solve his problems though.....

Cheers,

Buri

Erikas dog seems ot be in agreement

July 7, 2011 at 04:10 PM ·

I completely lost interest when she described isolated motion of the left fingers as a bad thing -- and then in her demonstration was unable to move them without a pretty significant twitch of the hand. 

July 7, 2011 at 04:30 PM ·

the bowing looks very rigid, the human body is not rigid though

the wrist is an amazingly flexibile joint, look at flamenco dancers (especially women's more floral and more torsional motion) and indian dancers.

July 8, 2011 at 10:46 AM ·

 Can someone post a link to the video under discussion, please?

July 8, 2011 at 04:51 PM ·

I don't think the Taubman approach works for string playing.  At least as it relates to the piano, it's pretty much like Alexander Technique except that it deals only with the arms, and only from the elbows down.  Problems in your shoulders/neck/back?  Too bad.  Stiffness in the way you stand or sit?  Not relevant.

If you're having pain while you play, I can't recommend the Alexander Technique highly enough.  2 years ago I thought I was going to have to quit playing and find something else to do for a living.  Not anymore!  

Here is the website for the national association of Alexander teachers:  http://www.amsatonline.org/teacherswww.amsatonline.org/teachers .   I see you are in Bothell, and there are lots of AT teachers in the Seattle area.  It's not unusual to find a teacher with professional-level musical training, and in any case they work with musicians a LOT.  The idea behind AT is not to do things like "correct" your bow grip or whatever, but rather to release the tension involved in whatever you're doing.  (The classes I take involve a lot of work in how to get up from a chair, for instance.)

July 8, 2011 at 07:23 PM ·

Hey there,

Here is the link in question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myY7XP858kw

My wife is a pianist and studies Taubman with a wonderful instructor who studies often with Edna Golansky (the guru of the Taubman approach - she was Dorothy Taubman's main apprentice.  Sophie Till is working with Golansky to adapt the approach for violin).

I watched many of the Taubman instruction videos with her, with Edna Golansky demonstrating very precise places in the piano literature which can be made much easier and more natural with an emphasis on rotation of the hand over stretching the fingers (even rotating from one finger to the next, instead of dropping them from above, like old typewriter keys).

The string application of Taubman is still in its infancy, and if it is to work, I think will need an enormous amount of work - if it is to come to the specificity that exists in the piano approach.

One of the benefits of Taubman (in my understanding) is that it is extremely focused and specific for the exact demands of the piano.  Whereas Alexander is much broader in its reach, Taubman has every detail of piano technique worked out - for optimal ease and longevity.  The detail of approach is almost excruciatingly precise - a steep learning curve to be sure.  My head was swimming after trying to figure which piano techniques have 1 rotation, double rotation, triple, backwards, forwards - this way, that way!  Mind you, I'm not a pianist - but I found the videos quite interesting.

My wife's teacher has seemingly boundless energy now at the piano, and feels like he could play all the Chopin etudes in one concert - a thought unimaginable before he began this study.

I would think that the Taubman approach, if it is applied to strings, would be very much against things like the Dounis finger exercises (anything which strains the fingers.  The Taubman has come out strongly against those finger individuation exercises - like Czerny and others).  It seeks the easiest physical route to things - even going so far as to modestly rewrite passages in the piano literature which exact a heavy physical toll.

I did consider myself, watching the piano videos, if it is transferable.  I think that, amongst the great materials for violinists (Simon Fisher's book being one of the best), much of what Taubman would bring to the table is covered - but there is potential there I think to recast what we do in a new physical language.

The approach for piano has done wonders for my wife.  She has much, much less pain than she used to.

 

David

July 8, 2011 at 07:33 PM ·

But Bruce is quite right.  It will be a long time before Taubman is developed to the proven level which Alexander technique already enjoys.  Alexander is a great, great place to begin!  I've benefited greatly, even from very limited exposure (and reading about it).

July 8, 2011 at 09:09 PM ·

 Greetings,

it is very diificultto talk about Alexander technique because as Alexander himslef continually pointed out the moment we strat using words the usul misunderstandings and preconceptions that result from everybody being differnet take place. hat is why at te highest level there isnT much talking going on in an AT lesson. Just to note briefly, AT does not really `release tension` although it can be put across in those terms as an initial description.

What AT teaches us to do is make `conscious choices` which then become automatic to -not do- those actions which caused the tension in the firts place.  In other words one is not releasing tension but rather not creating it in the first place,   A small but crucial distinction that shows the difference between AT and things like massage etc.

Cheers,

Buri

July 8, 2011 at 09:32 PM ·

 Greetings,
i took another look at the video but given the small amount of infomration I couldn`t draw that many conclusions.   The points that sprung to mind were:

1) agree that arm hand and fingers move as a basic unit when sifting (most of the time....)

2)   According to my understanding wrist vibrato is not acceptable because it breaks the line or unit.   maybe I ve this wrong but that automatically invalidates the pproach to the left hand.

3)   The outer two fingers of the left hand are designed to stretch.  It is the midlde two that are a single unit and should avoid stretching.   Casals inisted on this position.

4.) Bowing wan`t demonstrated all the way to the heel andpoint but that demonstration needs to be redone. Ther eis little or no contorl of bow speed or sound quality in what is shown.

5)  The fact that -all greta violinist show natrla flexibilty in te writ negates this potion in my book.

6) the most efficent and relaxed position for the wrist is not exactly straight. This is physiologically incorrct information.

I have discuused and observed hundred of piamo players with wrold class AT teachers.   There was historically a great need for clarification of hand position on the piano.  Indeed a whole school of piano playing in one particular country advocated (also through its oficial exams) a hand position which was fundamentally flawd (igh wrist) which caused a great dela of damage to young players.  A comprativel recnet situation that has /is beeing rectified.

There,ay well be things to be learnt from the Taubman method.  With such things, at the very least it causes us to reflect and make better choices (preferably take AT lessons...) but from what I have seen so far ther eis nothing new  and somethings that are,  in my personal opinion,  completely wrong.

I look forward to a longer video. In the meantime I will return to the Cornflakeukovia model of vibrato that requires no shifting irrespective of where the hand is...

Cheers,

Buri

July 9, 2011 at 01:19 AM ·

OK, just found it, watched it twice...

Well, I'm not nearly so critical, and in fact I agree with some of it. I'm also a proponent of not breaking the right wrist, though I hopefully do this with more flexibility than this demonstration. A number of aspects of my bowing approach come from my interpretation of Dounis. He was also a strong advocate of not breaking the wrist. But with his "paintbrush-stroke" technique, there is a lot more flexibility and finger activity than this lady demonstrated - but she just played a few E's. Maybe had she got more into it, it would have been better - benefit of the doubt. But from a neo-Dounis vantage I might say that she forgot to soak the bristles of her brush the day before!

For the left hand, I believe in a basic allignment as a starting point, with deviations as necessary - certainly for certain bach and Paganini finger busters! Dounis recommended in slow to moderate shifting that going from 1st to 3rd position that the hand flex in a bit, and flex back out going back down. He also stringly advocated an exclusive wrist vibrato, which many greats from Elman to Rosand have done.

I go into my approach in a lot more detail on my website in my "writings - fundamentals section. And you can see what I do with my bow, etc. here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ul2QUc5Gqc

July 9, 2011 at 01:26 AM ·

 Greetings,

I don`t use the word `breaking` because its too violent....;)

But the habit of `hooking` the wrist when one gets to the point is quite widespread and one of the worst faults of violnists in terms of bow technique.

Zukerman also talked about using a wrist vibrato because it takes less effort to use a smaller unit.

Cheers,

buri

July 9, 2011 at 03:29 AM ·

 In reference to the suggestion that an application of the Taubman approach to string playing would tend against Dounis type stretches, I don't agree. One of the basic principles of the Dounis approach to the left hand is actually that injury comes from using larger units of the arm or hand than necessary to achieve stretches/velocity/shifts. The idea is to develop great flexibility, and to minimize deviations from a nicely-aligned hand-arm relationship. Practicing big stretches carefully should actually reduce the probability of injury! 

July 9, 2011 at 06:41 AM ·

It's interesting how dismissive people can be of an entire body of information based on a Youtube video. To discredit Taubman's work which has immeasurably benefited many pianists (especially those recovering from injuries) just because of someone else's attempt to "port" those ideas to another instrument isn't logical.

The concept of rotational movement is a significant one in violin technique. It just doesn't always get recognized for what it is, as many players and teachers do it intrinsically and thus don't communicate it to their students.

July 9, 2011 at 08:23 AM ·

the most i could ever aspire to is "fiddler" - i doubt i'll ever go beyond the basic patterns and my thumb, resting on the nut, acts as a sort of pilot for the other fingers as they search for notes.  venturing up the neck with fingers and wrist in a fixed position and a pneumatic arm would be like casting adrift in uncharted waters.

as for the bow hand - there may be something of value in treating the hand, wrist and lower arm as an integrated unit, operating from the elbow but ... old dog - new tricks, etc., etc.. 

July 9, 2011 at 08:25 AM ·

btw ... dyslexia rules here - for a moment (very brief) - i read this as "taliban approach."

July 9, 2011 at 09:12 AM ·

 to clarify... in dounis there is no arm weight. the impulse of the stroke almost always comes from the fingers - however the fingers are passive and react like the hairs of a paint brush

July 9, 2011 at 02:00 PM ·

Hi Gene,

but  i don't see people here discrediting the approach as it applies to piano playing, there is criticism against it being used violinistically, where keeping the hand-arm as shown in the youtube clip is in conflict with the varied positions the arm and hand have to get into to allow playing different techniques/pieces. ; in this case i think efficiency and naturalness should be the aim, all  the good violinists i watch just move their arms and hands in such a non-contrived and easy way around the violin.... well, sometimes there is an element of difficulty in the posture even in the great, ida handel looks like she's firmly pressing her chin onto the violin, milstein  seems like he's in the habit of shrugging the violin or his chin back into place during playing - maybe, ferras looks far more tense than heifetz or hahn for example when he's playing but what a beatiful tense vibrato he has....but it obviously works for them and how irrelevantly menial i'm being!!!

perhaps, the less tortional, more orthogonally and linearly directed playing action on the piano allows this confortable alignment more readily on the piano than on the violin, i don't know.

July 9, 2011 at 04:53 PM ·

As a piano teacher I'm very aware of the Taubman approach. The good bits come from Matthay - the nonbreaking wrist is Dorothy's alone and never made sense to me. I think the person above who used the word instrinsic but probably meant intuitive or instinctive is right. Mostly if you allow it, the body knows best.

July 9, 2011 at 06:13 PM ·

As a counterweight to my possible Taubman-bashing post above, I should mention that I have two professional pianist friends who say that the Taubman method saved their careers.  Now that an Alexander teacher has moved to our city, they are both doing Alexander Technique and appreciate how it applies similar principles to the entire body; but they were already Taubman devotees and I don't think that has changed.

My partner is a pianist with a history of arm trouble, and didn't seem to get a lot of benefit from the series of Taubman videos that one of our friends lent him; the combination of Alexander and Matthay has worked well for him though.

I agree with David that the Taubman approach could eventually work well for string instruments but it may not have reached that stage of development yet.

(Also Buri's thing about "conscious choices" is dead-on.  My post was a pretty good example of how talk & description are not necessarily helpful or all that accurate.)

July 10, 2011 at 08:51 AM ·

It seems to me that if tension and pain is present in the wrist then the bow hold needs immediate fixing, rather than adopting a completely non-traditional technique that causes stiff bow-changes and crookedness at bow ends of the bow.

July 10, 2011 at 06:57 PM ·

I've eventually managed to get around to watching "that" video (thanks, David, for the link), and I agree with Raphael that the very short time she is actually playing is not really sufficient to draw a conclusion one way or the other.
My teacher is a proponent of the Alexander technique, and refers to it when discussing tensions in holds and posture.

July 11, 2011 at 05:19 PM ·

but is there an implicit connection being made between this approach, as shown in the youtube clip, and the alexander technique.? there is a prescribed dictated posture and habit being inculcated by the lady in the short youtube clip (although one might claim it is too short to tell, the understanding is that in this short clip she is generalizing and she does not state that her arm/hand posture proscribes certain motions necessary for playing some challenging pieces)  - whereas the alexander technique, as i imagine it, does not involve itself in prescribing a replication of posture but the deeper elimination of stress whatever the activity required is through an awareness of your body in a calm way (correct me if i'm wrong please) via breathing and other physical techniques.

also, if i might be a bit more hard headed, when someone wants to imply there is, for instance, symmetry between holding the violin and holding the bow,i have suspicion that the person  is not as concerned with the actual variegated means of playing the violin (still in a healthy way) which have proven to be historically valid  as they are concerned with applying a principle sui generis, independently. i think, for instance, that hilary hahn has a very very nice posture, its quite elegant really..anyway she has the bearing of a dancer not the dancing of a bear.... and manner of playing that looks very healthy and considered and at the same time fluid and nuanced, not stiff and dictated. i would rather learn from hahn, to be frank...no no not frank zimmerman, but  i like this so http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KydDpuOkISM beautifully played and what a beautiful violin, but boy is it at an angle...

July 11, 2011 at 06:57 PM ·

 Greetings,

interesting point.  Just brief comment.  At does not address breating at all. Alexnder was vehemntly opposed to working on breathing in any way shape or form.  If the use of `primary control` (relationship between head neck and back) is excellent then breathing problems automatically resolve.

Cheers

Buri

July 12, 2011 at 12:17 AM ·

My AT teacher has actually worked on breathing with me (and everyone in the class, not just the wind players) a lot.

July 12, 2011 at 12:58 AM ·

I kind of agree with Buri that breathing may not  need to be taught, but if someone has been playing with poor posture for a considerable time ,then breathing correctly may have to be relearned.

People with poor posture when playing shouldn't have Youtube  vids on technique.

July 12, 2011 at 01:27 AM ·

Greetings,

in cas emy point wa smisundersytood,  FM Alexander was vehemntly opposed to using breathing as a mreans to relaxation as the way perhaps yoga or meditation does. That does not mean one would never address breathing sas an example of misuuse of the body in an AT class.  However, at the end of the day it is the awarness and use of primary control whcih dictate swhat one happens when one breathes..  Ifone is addressing `breathing` rather than primary control then one is actually getting away from AT to some degree.  If the teacher is using the hands to stimulate good use while the player is working consciiouly making choices baout how to bretahe that is certainly AT although Alexander wouldn`t have done it.

Cheers,

Buri

July 12, 2011 at 08:38 PM ·

Buri, I agree wholeheartedly.  I think.

July 12, 2011 at 11:43 PM ·

I think I`m going to make a consious choice to be unconscious.

July 13, 2011 at 04:16 AM ·

This has nothing to do with my opinion on the Taubman approach, but I work on breathing with all my intermediate students. It's simply a matter of control, I think. It's much easier to play delicately when you breath with your actions. It seems simple to me - the more oxygen you give your muscles, the more relaxed and in control you are. Breathing for us is just as important as a singer or woodwind/brass player in my humble opinion.

Though, most people think string players are vampires anyway...

July 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM ·

Though, most people think string players are vampires anyway...

Has anyone ever noticed a resemblence in looks and speech between Nathan Milstein and Bela Lagosi? Just saying...

July 13, 2011 at 02:12 PM ·

something after googling

http://www.alexandertechnique.com/articles/violinist/

what about boris karloff with a violin? kogan? :op

May 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM · It is indeed very difficult to evaluate an entire approach to violin playing based on a short YouTube clip. A new updated one is now available, but it is still a short demo and not an comprehensive view of the Approach. The short video is not offering the ways that the body can achieve advanced techniques such as octaves and tenths without problems. These solutions do exist for violin as for piano through the Taubman/Golandsky Approach but that is not the purpose of the video, which is only a starting point for some common issues.

Having observed a number of sessions with Sophie Till and Edna Golandsky over the last few years, I can state without reservation that the Taubman/Golandsky Approach for strings has evolved enormously, and is far from being in its infancy. A very precise understanding of the application of Taubman principles to the specificities of violin playing now exists.

If you are trying to find knowledge to solve problems or are in pain I highly recommend you take a Skype lesson with Till. After all, the Taubman Approach is meant to be experienced through study with an experienced teacher, watching videos is only a beginning. The knowledge and pedagogy are phenomenal.

Having said that, hopefully Sophie Till will publish more clips in the future, demonstrating how the Taubman/Golandsky Approach can be successfully applied to the challenges of playing virtuosic violin repertoire with pleasing musical results, while using the body in a healthy way.

May 20, 2012 at 03:16 AM · In response to some of the other issues raised:

Taubman recognised that playing with wrists lower than the main knuckles causes arm weight to fall into the wrist, resulting in tension and pain (cited in Allen, et al., 1994, p. 14). In fact, Golandsky attributes Taubman as the first to understand the relationship between playing with a low wrist and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).

Various studies attest that the wrist leaving the optimal midrange is a significant cause of injury, including CTS (see Brandfonbrener, 2003, p. 236; Chaffin & Lemieux, 2004; Horvath, 2004, p. 96; Healthy Typing, 2009; Norris & Torch (Ed.), 1993; Watson, 2009). Carpal tunnel pressure rises with as little as 15 degrees of variation from neutral position (Rempel, cited in Wristen, 2000, p. 56).

Unfortunately, many practices embedded in schools of thought on violin technique (and piano technique for that matter) are not based on optimal, coordinate movement, reflected in the number of injured musicians worldwide. Along with pianists, violinists and violists tend to incur the highest rates of playing-related injuries among instrumentalists (see Barton, et al., 2008, p. 72).

Similarly, many fantastic performers play brilliantly despite their technique. Some might be surprised to learn of the wonderful virtuosi who struggled with playing-related injuries: Schnabel, Fleischer, Graffman, Rachmaninoff, Clara and Robert Schumann, Paderewski, Scriabin, Gould, Landowska, Friedman, and Goode to name a few (Dunning, 1981; Golandsky, 1999; Mark, 2003, p. 5; Altenmüller & Kopiez, 2010). It can therefore be dangerous to attempt to imitate great artists, whose technique can be a combination of healthy movements and “unusual” mannerisms, as Matthay warns (1932, pp. 14, 112).

Secondly, maintaining curved fingers in their natural position, rather than curling or over extending, is not merely to preserve a certain look of the hand. Curling is a common source of tension and limitation. It activates a long flexor muscle extending from the fingertip to the elbow, pulling over the wrist, and restricting hand and finger motion (del Pico Taylor, 2004).

Stretching the fingers apart limits movement, speed, and potentially causes injury, acknowledged across literature in performing arts medicine as well as in some piano pedagogy texts (see Fry, 1986, p. 47; Culf, 1998, p. 63; Mark, 2003, p. 7; Healthy Typing, 2009; Whiteside, 1955/1997). Even the origin of the word stretch, tensionem in Latin, is clearly associated with tension (Nieman, 1978 / 1991, p. 42). Stretching practices have been described by experts such as Brandfonbrener as a “potential source of severe, permanent damage to joints and soft tissues” (2003, p. 233).

Isolating the fingers by moving them without the support of the hand and forearm creates tension in the forearm and wrist (Warrington, 2003, p. 296). Furthermore, in Taubman’s experience, independence exercises are a significant cause of injuries, (1984, p. 147). She observed that musicians who escaped injury, despite practising independence exercises, either ceased practice after registering discomfort, or intuitively released the held notes (Wilson, 1987, p. 39). One particularly debilitating injury linked to independence exercises is dystonia (de Lisle, Speedy & Thompson, 2009; Taubman, cited in Lidster, 1999, p. 52).

Dr. Therese Milanovic

Reference List

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Altenmüller, E., & Kopiez, R. (2010). Suffering for her art: The chronic pain syndrome of pianist Clara Wieck-Schumann. Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience, 27, 101-118.

Barton, R., Killian, C., Bushee, M., Callen, J., Cupp, T., Ochs, B., et al. (2008). Occupational performance issues and predictors of dysfunction in college instrumentalists. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 23(2), 72-78.

Brandfonbrener, A. G. (2003). Musculoskeletal problems of instrumental musicians. Hand Clinics, 19(2), 231-239.

Chaffin, R., & Lemieux, A. (2004). General perspectives on achieving musical excellence. In A. Williamon (Ed.), Musical excellence: Strategies and techniques to enhance performance (pp. 19-40). New York: Oxford University Press.

Culf, N. (1998). Musician's injuries: A guide to their understanding and prevention. Tunbridge Wells, UK: Parapress.

de Lisle, R., Speedy, D., & Thompson, J. (2009). The effects of pianistic retraining via video conferencing as a means of assisting recovery from focal dystonia: A case study. In A. Williamon, S. Pretty & R. Buck (Eds.), Proccedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science (pp. 395-400). Utrecht, The Netherlands: European Association of Conservatoires (AEC).

Del Pico-Taylor, M. (2004). My "super teacher": Dorothy Taubman. American Music Teacher, 53(5), 104.

Dunning, J. (1981, June 14). When a pianist's fingers fail to obey. New York Times, pp. 1, 24-25.

Fry, H. J. (1986). How to treat overuse injury: Medicine for your practice. Music Educators Journal, 72(9), 46-49.

Golandsky, E. (1999). They took pains. Piano and Keyboard 4(201), 72.

Healthy Typing. (2009). Healthy typing using the MoveRight system: How to keyboard quickly and efficiently without pain, injury or discomfort [DVD]. New York: MoveRight Consulting.

Horvath, J. (2004). Playing (less) hurt: An injury prevention guide for musicians (Rev. ed.). Minneapolis, MN: J. Horvath.

Lidster, D. (1999). Healing injuries and facilitating technical abilities: Applying the research of Dorothy Taubman to the marimba. Percussive Notes, 37(1), 52-56.

Mark, T. (2003). What every pianist needs to know about the body: A manual for players of keyboard instruments: piano, organ, digital keyboard, harpsichord, clavichord. Chicago: GIA Publications.

Matthay, T. (1932). The visible and invisible in pianoforte technique: Being a digest of the author's technical teachings up to date. London: Oxford University Press.

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June 13, 2012 at 06:42 PM ·

As a student of the Taubman/Golandsky approach to strings, I know that it does work.

Being a serious student of the violin for nearly 15 years, I had always physically struggled with the instrument eventually developing tendinitis in both hands and arms and was diagnosed with a chronic neck strain. As a performance major at the time, I had no choice but to stop playing for nearly 1 1/2 years. During that time off, I had seen massage therapists, an orthopedic surgeon, a spinal specialist, and I had switched physical therapist three times, leaving each one with no real progress. Nothing helped me. However after studying the Taubman/Golandsky with

Sophie Till, I not only was playing again, but was back to being a fully functioning human being. The instrument had always looked and felt so hard to play. I struggled with my bow arm and left hand, chords were a nightmare, and intonation was always an issue. Playing with the understanding of the functioning principles of

the hand and the arm has made everything is much more fluid and connected and mostly just easy!

Practicing is entirely different. Practice is no longer a session of repetition, but a time of analyzing and discovery! Once a discovery is made

it stays and not only does the passage prosper, but the entire level of

playing. The most assuring part of this approach is that if I come to a

lesson and I state that a passage still is not coming along as I would like,

I don't get sent back with 5 etudes or told to try harder; there are real

solutions. By the end of the lesson I have a clear idea of what tools to use

and I really possess the knowledge.

I always think back to the injury and the setbacks I endured, however it is

not with regret but with great gratitude; for I know (and those around me

would testify) that I would have never been the player I am today if it

wasn't for Sophie Till and the Taubman/Golandsky Approach. I just want to

make it clear that if you are seeking answers, are injured or just can't find

what you want you should pursue this and you will find exactly the answers

you seek.

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