What are the common steps in learning the Taubman Approach?
February 27, 2012
Students who are not injured may work immediately through repertoire in combination with pure technical concepts to develop greater freedom. The inherent positive aspects of the playing are encouraged and made conscious. In these cases, students report rediscovering their “natural” and “instinctive” playing. While this works well for some, in other cases it is faster to confront core issues within the basic movements. For profound improvement, partial or full retraining may be required to “learn the system underneath what is natural”, which in Golandsky’s experience is learnable, and teachable.
Depending on the student’s situation, establishing comfort may mean beginning with single note drops before moving to rotation. When this is working well in combination with other basic movements, such as the lateral “walking hand and arm” and movements of the finger, hand and arm unit in and out towards and away from the fallboard, the next stage is to incorporate these new skills into repertoire. Characteristically, a “scaley” piece at an appropriate level in close position is chosen as a practice vehicle, such as Mozart, Haydn, or Scarlatti.
Throughout the learning process, the student is allowed to experience and thoroughly consolidate each step. With time, new skills become automatic, requiring less conscious attention. Minimising the technique begins, as rotation works best when small in combination with other movements. An essential step is (re)integrating the fingers’ lively movement with the support of the hand and forearm. Attention is also turned to incorporating elements of musical expression if not already present, including adding shaping, tone production, and rhythmic expression, thus beginning the transformation of craft into artistic playing.