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Studying Taubman Technique (Read 7132 times)

Offline arungargstl

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #50 on: December 22, 2013, 05:58:04 PM »

That each situation is individual goes without saying. But unless the principles in question can be actively referenced to part of the method, they are based on the teacher's expertise, not on the method. You can't  cite the method as either the source of success or failure, if the teacher is simply doing as they see fit  (with no concept behind it that can be defined)  it is down to their individual qualities as a teacher The method cannot be given credit for the individual teacher's subjective ideas.

You hadn't followed my point. Based on irrefutable geometry the rotation MUST  stay large unless there is an alternative means of creating key movement. Either large up and down arm movements must replace it (which are equally unfeasible at high speeds)  or the fingers must be creating the movement by either scratching back or expanding outwards in length. They both advise the impossible and actively mislead about the important role of finger MOVEMENT as the explanation for what gets the key going.

It's really tiresome when taubmanites leap forward to accuse everyone of misunderstanding the method, in order to protect their idol. There is no misunderstanding. They say the fingers should merely support rotation. That gives no means of reducing it. When I interpreted them at face value, the rotation did me no good. When I made my own reinterpretation of what they insist on, it actually worked- in a way that bears objective scrutiny and which does not require blind faith in something that is clearly impossible.

When the Taubman method makes an unequivocal assertion, they are responsible for every person who follows their assertion. There is no misunderstanding except in terms of what they fallaciously assert as if it were fact.


One error in your argument:

Taubman never states that the finger should support the playing mechanism alone during rotation. Quite the opposite. Each finger stroke is supported by a continuous mechanism rooted in the elbow. The elbow is used as the main fulcrum, giving arm weight and support to each note. Thus, rotation is used to reposition the arm mechanism from note to note, in the effort to maintain support on each note (even in quick passages).

This goes to show that the DVD's simply cannot convey everything there is. A lot of the work done with Taubman teachers are minute adjustments to create support and shaping. One cannot simply claim to have seen all there is based on these DVD's. An experienced Taubman pianist/teacher can use the basics in the DVD to help you relieve tension, but surely you weren't naive enough to think that a few hours of general lessons on the method would render you an expert?

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #51 on: December 22, 2013, 06:14:12 PM »
So basically, what you are saying is that the DVD's are useless, despite costing about $500.

What you REALLY need are thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of Taubman lessons...  ;)

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #52 on: December 22, 2013, 06:20:57 PM »
Actually, my Taubman teacher is a member here! Her username is RAB.

She didn't teach me the proper harpsichord plucking technique which I learned later on... but she did often talk about the natural curve of the finger. I don't think it's good to get into too much technical/biomechanical detail with a 9 or 10 year old student.

That needs to come later.... when the student's body is more developed, as is their will to play the instrument at a professional standard...

Um, you're saying that the idea of moving your fingers (which is the only possible way to eradicate the superfluous excess of rotation that is prescribed and indeed the only way to avoid stiffening the fingers when rotating) is a "biomechanical detail"? See how you find op 10 no 1 without that little detail. Or even a basic scale played at anything other than a snail's pace.

Personally I really don't like harpsichord scratching. See the thread in the teachers forum about releasing where we've spoken about finger tapping. This is answer to learning  to expand the fingers out into effortless movement. Nothing can replace this essential pianistic movement and no pianist can even approach advanced playing without it. The scratch is very limited in comparison, when attempting effortless speed.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #53 on: December 22, 2013, 06:25:18 PM »

Personally I really don't like harpsichord scratching.


Your Baroque playing and control of polyphonic textures in general must leave much to be desired!

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #54 on: December 22, 2013, 06:32:31 PM »
Your Baroque playing and control of polyphonic textures in general must leave much to be desired!

Why? When I used to draw fingertips inwards I had far less control than when I lengthen them to move the key down in a direct path. Scratching also tends to destabilise the arm which further compromises control. I've never been better at bringing inner voices out at will than since I learned the lengthening action. Scraping back from the fingertip gives rather chaotic results by comparison. Lengthening out provides a real simplicity between the intent and the result. When the finger bonds with a single spot on the key there are fewer variables. Too many different things can happen when you're Scraping back across the surface.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #55 on: December 22, 2013, 06:34:01 PM »
Show us the results of your control!

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #56 on: December 22, 2013, 06:37:14 PM »
When the finger bonds with a single spot on the key there are fewer variables. Too many different things can happen when you're Scraping back across the surface.

The purpose of fingertapping is to learn how to scratch STRAIGHT down, without ANY horizontal scraping across the surface. No wonder you saw no value in the exercise! You were doing it completely incorrectly!

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #57 on: December 22, 2013, 06:44:27 PM »
The purpose of fingertapping is to learn how to scratch STRAIGHT down, without ANY horizontal scraping across the surface. No wonder you saw no value in the exercise! You were doing it completely incorrectly!

? Eh?

Two points. I didn't see no value in the exercise. I discovered that if the finger has not bonded with the key before you tap it, the benefits do not come. When I set myself up correctly, the benefits are overwhelming.

Secondly, the exercise trains the absolute antithesis of the scratch. A scratch is inward. Geometrically, there is no possibility of the key going down in a tap unless the finger LENGTHENS between knuckle and tip. If it doesn't do that, there is no possibility of the key moving without the finger sliding back on the key. That means it is in no way a scratch. It's an expansion, which is the very opposite. Can a prostitute scratch a man's back without the finger sliding across it? A scratch is across something, not perfectly in line with it.

Until I threw the literal scratch virtually out of the window altogether and made this alternative movement my norm, my technique was permanently limited by dependence on the scratch. The expansion action is better and that's what tapping trains. It actively trains against the scratching approach

Offline cometear

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #58 on: December 22, 2013, 06:52:15 PM »
Pity they cost so much money! You'd think for over $50 per DVD they'd be anything but vague....  ::)

Let me rephrase than. The DVDs are a wealth of use, yes, but without a teacher they are not nearly as useful. I'm sure you could master the basics correctly but without a teacher how can you accurately progress? People may have done it before, but a teacher can evaluate your progress, reflect on it, and improve you. I still have yet to get the DVDs to have a better understanding of the approach, to see Mrs. Golandsky explain it herself. I don't think they're enough on their own. So they are vague when you look at the entire approach as a whole including all repertoire and exceptions but they are the greatest wealth of knowledge available out their except a teacher.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline cometear

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #59 on: December 22, 2013, 06:53:28 PM »
I didn't see no value in the exercise.

I don't see no value in your argument :P
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #60 on: December 22, 2013, 06:54:35 PM »
Look, I'm not going to argue with you, Andrew.

Feel free to go on playing the piano in your own way!  :)  

I wish you the best of luck in the development of your creative powers at the piano!


Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #61 on: December 22, 2013, 07:05:02 PM »
Look, I'm not going to argue with you, Andrew.

Feel free to go on playing the piano in your own way!  :)  

I wish you the best of luck in the development of your creative powers at the piano!



What I'm saying that though is that this reveals that we're both doing the exact same thing- and it's not scratching! I find the scratching description very harmful. Nothing about it conveys the idea of staying in one point on the key- ie lengthening out the finger rather than closing up the fingertip. The great thing about tapping however, is that it trains this superior alternative of expansion by feel. Rotation exercises only became meaningful for me when this element was willfully incorporated.

Right now I'm coming back to the rachmaninoff g sharp minor Prelude. I used to rock loads in a way that squashed my hand into severe collapse on the fifth. By playing it with a combination of rotation and active lengthening, both rotation and finger action are joint positives. Omitting either element left huge holes. All the taubman method needs to do is add an explanation of the fingers role of true movement in the picture (not as some small detail that follows hours of explanations, but as an integral component of all pianistic actions) and they'd have something wonderful. Instead they come out with the potentially poisonous notion that the finger merely supports the arm and shouldn't aim for more. Playing that way is what caused my years of limp collapsing coupled with stiffness.

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #62 on: December 22, 2013, 07:13:09 PM »
Let me rephrase than. The DVDs are a wealth of use, yes, but without a teacher they are not nearly as useful. I'm sure you could master the basics correctly but without a teacher how can you accurately progress? People may have done it before, but a teacher can evaluate your progress, reflect on it, and improve you. I still have yet to get the DVDs to have a better understanding of the approach, to see Mrs. Golandsky explain it herself. I don't think they're enough on their own. So they are vague when you look at the entire approach as a whole including all repertoire and exceptions but they are the greatest wealth of knowledge available out their except a teacher.

To translate that, when a pianist inevitably fails with advice that fails to mention something so basic as the need to move your fingers, they need a teacher who can find ways of getting that happening by feel even if not by direct suggestion. But with the dvds alone, the active instructions against moving keys with fingers will likely serve as a direct inhibitor of this pianistic essential.

Offline arungargstl

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #63 on: December 22, 2013, 07:15:13 PM »
So basically, what you are saying is that the DVD's are useless, despite costing about $500.

What you REALLY need are thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of Taubman lessons...  ;)


You talk as if 500$ worth of lessons should make you an expert. Every great pianist has invested much more than that in money and time. It would be foolish to think 500$ worth of tutelage in any art would bestow mastery at any level. Many top teachers charge roughly that much for just one lesson.

Offline cometear

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #64 on: December 22, 2013, 07:16:24 PM »
To translate that, when a pianist inevitably fails with advice that fails to mention something so basic as the need to move your fingers, they need a teacher who can find ways of getting that happening by feel even if not by direct suggestion. But with the dvds alone, the active instructions against moving keys with fingers will likely serve as a direct inhibitor of this pianistic essential.

That's not a very good translation.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #65 on: December 22, 2013, 07:25:23 PM »
That's not a very good translation.

That's simply what happens in practise when advice is not merely one-sided but one-sided against the single biggest element of accomplished pianism. As I said before, simple geometry PROVES that the finger must be moving to send the keys down, once rotationis  reduced to a subtle level. It would have to stay big for rotation to be anything other than secondary to the movement of the fingers. The irony is that the DVDs might serve as a good preparation for the essential matter of getting the fingers moving from a place of freedom- were it not for the fact that by the time you've listened to them, you've been so poisoned against the idea of fingers generating the movement that you'd have to rethink virtually everything you've learned in order to get on with learning what you'd otherwise have prepared yourself for getting on with. They're too busy making it into a dirty thing to give any proper advice on how to go about mastering the biggest issue of all. Once you understand how to support on a finger, you need to learn how to enter that support by moving the key with the finger. Nothing will sidestep this most basic essential of pianism.

Offline cometear

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #66 on: December 22, 2013, 09:59:28 PM »
That's simply what happens in practise when advice is not merely one-sided but one-sided against the single biggest element of accomplished pianism. As I said before, simple geometry PROVES that the finger must be moving to send the keys down, once rotationis  reduced to a subtle level. It would have to stay big for rotation to be anything other than secondary to the movement of the fingers. The irony is that the DVDs might serve as a good preparation for the essential matter of getting the fingers moving from a place of freedom- were it not for the fact that by the time you've listened to them, you've been so poisoned against the idea of fingers generating the movement that you'd have to rethink virtually everything you've learned in order to get on with learning what you'd otherwise have prepared yourself for getting on with. They're too busy making it into a dirty thing to give any proper advice on how to go about mastering the biggest issue of all. Once you understand how to support on a finger, you need to learn how to enter that support by moving the key with the finger. Nothing will sidestep this most basic essential of pianism.

The fingers do not generate the movement! The forearm muscles and the elbow moves the finger. That is rotation. It is essentially a shift in weight.
Clementi, Piano Sonata in G Minor, No. 3, op. 10
W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F Major, K. 497
Beethoven, Piano Concerto, No. 2, op. 19

Offline nyiregyhazi

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #67 on: December 22, 2013, 10:18:37 PM »
The fingers do not generate the movement! The forearm muscles and the elbow moves the finger. That is rotation. It is essentially a shift in weight.

Fine in the exaggerated version, but you spoke of minimising that rotation. At that point, the explanation is implausible.

If you want a simple proof then try this. Touch one finger against a table top and rotate so the adjacent finger is approx the distance by which a key moves during depression away from the same surface (say a cm although it may actually be further if anything) . Using rotation, bring that finger against the table too and don't move it a jot. You'll see that the amount of rotation needed is very large to cover even a cm of descent, unless the finger also contributes significant movement of its own accord. No finger movement means a very large rotation is essential or you cannot cover the required distance.

There's no getting away from this. If you move less than yet do enough to finish moving the key, the rotation is not the explanation for that distance being covered. The further apart the fingers are, however, the smaller the movement required for rotation to create key movement. It's easier for it to be a literal source of movement when going an octave away say. In adjacent fingers it's rationally impossible for it to work as Taubman tells you with a small rotation and fingers that only support. Try the exercise and then come back and tell me exactly how rotation is still going to move the key for you when you stop doing that large movement on every adjacent note of a scale.


You can't have your cake and eat it. Either rotation contributes power thanks to large movements or it isn't the power source. If the movement is reduced then it had to stop being the power source and the fingers moving are the only possible explanation (with smaller rotation quite feasibly occurring but being literally impossible as the source of key movement itself). All Taubman can do is help offer the required freedom. If you don't start moving those fingers instead of rotating so far, neither can you minimise the rotation. Their explanation totally contradicts what is required for the evolved product, because they will not acknowledge that the finger's movement must ultimately takes precedence over the rotation, as a matter of necessity. By all means hope that your fingers will figure that out on their own, but it's a lot easier to get past the slow and cumbersome phase when you actually appreciate that they need to move.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #68 on: December 23, 2013, 12:05:45 AM »

You talk as if 500$ worth of lessons should make you an expert. Every great pianist has invested much more than that in money and time. It would be foolish to think 500$ worth of tutelage in any art would bestow mastery at any level. Many top teachers charge roughly that much for just one lesson.

Of course, you are correct! It takes more like $50,000 worth of lessons to achieve mastery... and spending the money alone is of course no guarantee whatsoever!

I'm just saying that $500 for 10 DVD's is highway robbery. That's all.

Offline arungargstl

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #69 on: December 23, 2013, 06:58:52 PM »
Of course, you are correct! It takes more like $50,000 worth of lessons to achieve mastery... and spending the money alone is of course no guarantee whatsoever!

I'm just saying that $500 for 10 DVD's is highway robbery. That's all.

True true, but then there must be fools out there who see the price and expect a miracle!

Offline ashujaku

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #70 on: August 18, 2019, 09:04:12 PM »
Anyone interested in purchasing Original 10 DVDs at the discounted price, contact me

Offline keypeg

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Re: Studying Taubman Technique
«Reply #71 on: August 19, 2019, 12:36:07 PM »
Since this old thread just got revived I ended up reading this post, which I'll quote only in part but appreciated the whole.Six years later I appreciate it a lot more than I would have then.
Fine in the exaggerated version, but you spoke of minimising that rotation. At that point, the explanation is implausible.

If you want a simple proof then try this. Touch one finger against a table top and rotate so the adjacent finger is approx the distance by which a key moves during depression away from the same surface (say a cm although it may actually be further if anything) . Using rotation, bring that finger against the table too and don't move it a jot. You'll see that the amount of rotation needed is very large to cover even a cm of descent, unless the finger also contributes significant movement of its own accord. No finger movement means a very large rotation is essential or you cannot cover the required distance.

There's no getting away from this. If you move less than yet do enough to finish moving the key, the rotation is not the explanation for that distance being covered. The further apart the fingers are, however, the smaller the movement required for rotation to create key movement. ......