The Taubman technique for pianists

piano-lessons-postureI recently experienced difficulties with my thumbs during a concentrated spell of practise. As a result, I started to do some research on playing technique, to find out if perhaps I’d developed any bad habits. Dorothy Taubman, the creator of this discipline, developed the therapeutic approach during her lifetime, dedicated to helping people with bad injuries and conditions caused by bad technique or other incorrect habits.

I came across a collection of helpful instructional videos for pianists on You Tube by Edna Golansky, in which she goes into some detail on the approach and focuses in on some very specific examples. I recommend watching at least some of these, whether you’re experiencing problems or not, as there’s a wealth of information here.

Luckily, or perhaps not so much, my thumb issue seems to be the onset of arthritis more than a bad playing technique, however I’m currently looking at ways to improve my hand and arm work based on the ideas put forward by Taubman practitioners and plan to book myself a Skype session or two in the future (there are currently no UK practitioners).

I’d be very interested to hear from any students who have attended classes or seminars on the Taubman technique, to hear your experiences and opinions, so please contact me if you’d like to get into a discussion – or hit the comment box below.

Happy and comfortable playing!

Piano Tuition West London

“Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there” Bruce Lee

I firmly believe in combining the contemporary side of piano playing with the more traditional style of music teaching. I personally feel that lack of attention to either side leads to incomplete development as a musician. My piano tuition practice in Notting Hill, West London is dedicated to introducing students to material and techniques that’ll give them the best grounding possible for becoming accomplished musicians.

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Studying for the ABRSM (Associated Board Of The Royal Schools of Music) exams is a helpful background for musicians who want to have a gauge for the standard they are at. Working towards these is one of the ways we can ‘up our game’ too in our technical playing.  But it’s also my opinion that the ability to improvise and reproduce a piece of music aurally (for the purposes of learning) is crucial for every performer if they wish to express their own musical character. Bach, Mozart, Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven and many others were famous for their abilities at improvisation – a point often forgotten in traditional classical methods.

My lessons look at both sides of the coin, using popular contemporary pieces to achieve the kind of rhythmic, harmonic and melodic dexterity not always available from the classical repertoire. Significant time can also be given to study of the jazz repertoire and work with chart-reading (‘real book’) and improvising.

For a student to attain ‘master’ levels of dexterity such as Oscar Peterson, Cory Henry, Hiromi Uehara and other performers at their level, the serious piano student can be pointed to studies such as Hanon, Beringer, Czerny and Oscar P himself. Composers like Chopin, Liszt, Schubert and Bach also provide some challenging finger work, exercising the hand in unique ways that are of invaluable help to those aiming at becoming master pianists. We also look at transcriptions of solos by master jazz players such as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Kirkland, Chick Corea etc, studying their harmonic and rhythmic language and formulating ways of using their styles to inform our own playing.

If this hybrid approach is one that appeals to you, why not arrange a no-obligation informal chat to discuss your aims, experience, likes and dislikes?

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Jazz Piano Lesson from one of the world’s greatest masters

One of my all-time piano heroes, Oscar Peterson gives us this amazing jazz piano lesson.

…and here’s a heart-warming documentary on the man’s life & work…

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Jazz Piano Lesson in Notting Hill | Jazz Piano Lesson in Knightsbridge | Jazz Piano Lesson in Kensington | Jazz Piano Lesson in Holland Park | Jazz Piano Lesson in Shepherds Bush | Jazz Piano Lesson in Maida Vale | Jazz Piano Lesson in Paddington | Jazz Piano Lesson in Royal Oak | Jazz Piano Lesson in Kensal Green | Jazz Piano Lesson in Kensal Rise | Jazz Piano Lesson in Harlesden | Jazz Piano Lesson in Willesden | Jazz Piano Lesson in Acton | Jazz Piano Lesson in Bayswater | Jazz Piano Lesson in Lancaster Gate | Jazz Piano Lesson in White City | Jazz Piano Lesson in North Kensington