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#1971909 - 10/11/12 04:17 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
pianomouse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 88
Loc: Europe
I don't know about double rotation or Taubman, but for me, any scales work wonderfully, if I try to keep my fingers as close to the keys as possible. If, instead of holding them down, this comes from total relaxation, my fingers make very small movements based on impulse. So, I can play really fast without moving my arm, and the hand only makes little movements out of the wrist.
I think that if I'm concentrating on what my fingers do on the keyboard, my wrist/arm will follow naturally (if I'm relaxed, of course).
_________________________
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
(Katie Melua)

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#1971940 - 10/11/12 05:31 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: pianoloverus]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I don't know anything about Taubman but I am curious to know:

1. Is this method popular or used by teachers at the most important conservatories?

2. Would Taubman disciples/teachers say that the great pianists generally used Taubman's approach in their playing even if they weren't specifically trained that way? Would non Taubman teachers agree about this?




1. Used by some. Kaplinsky, Martin, and McDonald at Juilliard at Sharon Mann at SFCM are probably the most prolific examples.

2. I don't think so. Some Taubamn teachers have been extremely critical of great pianists' techqniue, saying that Gould, Horowitz, and Serkin have been completely "wrong" in their approach at the piano, and that their ways of playing are "anatomically incorrect".

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#1971947 - 10/11/12 05:42 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2630
Loc: Netherlands
'Taubman' just doesn't sound right to a musician's ears, well, Beethoven was one, what the heck, I don't believe in technical/religious/sexual/political/esthethic dogmas, I believe in personal/artistic freedom, gained by experience and tolerance, it may take a few years, but it'll pay off in the end, even playing scales (omg) may benefit.
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Couperin pièces, Ravel tombeau de C

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#1971948 - 10/11/12 05:43 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: Opus_Maximus]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
1. Used by some. Kaplinsky, Martin, and McDonald at Juilliard at Sharon Mann at SFCM are probably the most prolific examples.

2. I don't think so. Some Taubamn teachers have been extremely critical of great pianists' techqniue, saying that Gould, Horowitz, and Serkin have been completely "wrong" in their approach at the piano, and that their ways of playing are "anatomically incorrect".


1. Would you say that only a small percentage of teachers at major conservatories talk about Taubman's ideas?

2. If great pianists, like the ones you mention, were able to achieve their pianistic ideas and reach the level of greatness, I don't see how they can be open to criticism about their technical approach. I guess one could always argue they played well in spite of their incorrect technical approach or could have played even better/with less effort using Taubman's ideas, but for me that's a very empty sounding argument.

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#1972028 - 10/11/12 08:02 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 961
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Of course there are also the great pianists who have hurt themselves, such as Fleischer, Graffman, etc., back to Schumann. Presumably most things about their technique were fabulous, but some things not.

I think anyone could benefit from more knowledge, however great their natural ability. I know Taubman was troubled that so many child prodigies ran into physical problems later (problems that she figured out how to fix).
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1972037 - 10/11/12 08:35 PM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jdw]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: jdw
Of course there are also the great pianists who have hurt themselves, such as Fleischer, Graffman, etc., back to Schumann. Presumably most things about their technique were fabulous, but some things not.

I think anyone could benefit from more knowledge, however great their natural ability. I know Taubman was troubled that so many child prodigies ran into physical problems later (problems that she figured out how to fix).
While it's true some great pianists have injured themselves, I don't think that's the point. Schumann is irrelevant because his injury was due to using some mechanical device. The number of famous pianists who have injured themselves is very tiny, and I don't think it was necessarily due to faulty technique.

I am not at all saying I don't think Taubman is a good idea or useful(I don't know anything about it), but if it's true that the huge majority of good pianists either employ the Taubman principles naturally without being trained in them or that Taubman thinks many of the great pianists play with incorrect technique, then I remain skeptical.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/11/12 08:37 PM)

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#1972214 - 10/12/12 08:00 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: jazzyprof]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 961
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
It's true that the number of pianists who have managed to become very famous and then have their careers damaged by injury is not huge--maybe for obvious reasons. But the number who play with varying degrees of discomfort is large. Ilya Itin has some interesting things to say about this in a recent New York Times feature (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/arts/music/golandsky-institute-helps-musicians-avoid-pain.html). This is true not just for piano but for a wide range of instruments.

It's not just about injury, of course. Taubman's close analysis of movement is a powerful means of overcoming technical limitations, which almost everyone has.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1972576 - 10/13/12 01:30 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux

I think, for your second question, I would be averse to using the term "disciple" (makes the Taubman approach sound like a religion). But if you were to look at any athletic endeavor, there are two ways to learn it:
1. Intuition
2. Be taught how to do it

I would think that any program designed to teach the motions that are not being learned through intuition would be a good program that is beneficial to the student.
But if most excellent pianists use these motions without specifically being taught Taubman technique, it seems like Taubman should only be used if there is a problem that needs correction.

Of course, it's possible that other teachers teach essentially the same thing as Taubman and just explain it with different terminology. For example, I wonder if the Russian piano school, which is known for its technical prowess, teaches any thing related to Taubman's approach?

That is certainly one way to think about it. I will not make any qualms, I trained with Bob Durso in Philly for a number of years, but I have never been able to train in Russia. Bob is a wonderful pianist, an amazingly and extremely dedicated and caring teacher, and a great person. I feel honored to know him and be able to call him a friend. Setting my personal feelings for Bob aside, and analyzing the Taubman method objectively, I would say this:

I am sure there are other methods and techniques designed to free the playing mechanism, to overcome tension, and to reduce errors in technique. They may all teach similar ideals through different methods, practice, and even language. The Taubman method is the most technical specific, and scientific method I have found for approaching technique (be there issues or not). It quantifies what movements are required to play notes/passages, and gives a sort of "checklist" to run through if anything is not feeling good or there is a problem with a particular passage. Being inclined to business and engineering, this sort of scientific approach really appeals to me.

I am also an accomplished martial artist. Accomplishments aside, I can tell you that one of the most important principles in the martial arts is to learn how your body moves, and to adapt principles to your body. I do believe this also applies to the piano. Bob is a master at this, but I could not tell you about any other Taubman teachers. (However, if you would like to inquire directly, I can probably put you in touch. Send me a PM.)

It is important to separate sales pitches from practical usability, but the Taubman approach is practical, and highly usable. Is it necessary for everyone to use it? No. Some people are lucky/gifted enough to develop a very relaxed, tension-free technique from the start. If you are playing at the level you want to be playing at, and are doing it naturally, then awesome. I'm very happy for you (honestly). If you have areas you just can't seem to address, or tension you just can't seem to get rid of, then I would fall back on Einstein's "definition of insanity" quote as a starting point. wink
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1972584 - 10/13/12 02:08 AM Re: I don't get Taubman rotation [Re: pianoloverus]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
1. Used by some. Kaplinsky, Martin, and McDonald at Juilliard at Sharon Mann at SFCM are probably the most prolific examples.

2. I don't think so. Some Taubamn teachers have been extremely critical of great pianists' techqniue, saying that Gould, Horowitz, and Serkin have been completely "wrong" in their approach at the piano, and that their ways of playing are "anatomically incorrect".


1. Would you say that only a small percentage of teachers at major conservatories talk about Taubman's ideas?

2. If great pianists, like the ones you mention, were able to achieve their pianistic ideas and reach the level of greatness, I don't see how they can be open to criticism about their technical approach. I guess one could always argue they played well in spite of their incorrect technical approach or could have played even better/with less effort using Taubman's ideas, but for me that's a very empty sounding argument.


1. Only a small percentage about Taubman per se, yes, but a lot of teachers talk about aspects of technique that have, over time, become intrinsically linked with what Taubman likes to claim as their own (rotation, Pivoting, alignment, etc)

2. I agree with you, and don't know what's going on in their heads.


Edited by Opus_Maximus (10/13/12 02:16 AM)

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