Pianist Golandsky teaches musicians how to stay safe, healthy

Posted on: July 23, 2012

In Friday’s (7/20) New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer writes, “Like a coach teaching a gymnast how to land gracefully, the pianist Edna Golandsky leaned over the piano during a recent seminar at Princeton University to adjust hand positions and to tweak fingerings, enabling her students to navigate an obstacle course of trills, broken octaves, awkward leaps and rapid-fire passages safely. ‘Safely’ might seem an unlikely word to apply to piano playing, but musicians are called ‘elite athletes of the small muscles’ for good reason. The ice packs, splints and anti-inflammatories associated with the sports world are also a daily routine for many classical musicians. … While many artists accept discomfort as inevitable, Ms. Golandsky believes that pain and performance are not natural bedfellows. Her seminars, called Practical Solutions in Action, were an integral part of the Golandsky Institute, an annual weeklong event that finished on Saturday evening. The institute teaches pianists about the Taubman Approach, a method conceived by the pianist Dorothy Taubman that centers on coordinate movements; proper alignment of fingers, forearm and hand; and forearm rotations that reduce the need to twist and stretch in awkward positions. The goal is not only to avoid strain but also to achieve a more fluid and reliable technique that can facilitate more expressive playing.”

Posted July 23, 2012