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#436184 - 01/21/09 01:00 AM Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
abelian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 9
Hi all,

I recall discovering Seymour Fink's 'Mastering Piano Technique' three years ago when I was reading Chuan C Chuang's e-book. Fink's method got me really excited, as it was a logical, physiologically based approach to thinking and reasoning about piano technique which had the potential to demystify the secrets behind amazing technical feats as well as prevent injury.

A year later I discovered Thomas Mark's book, and over time I have become convinced that the best way to proceed about learning the piano for me[/b] is a method/style of teaching that is physiologically based.

Unfortunately, Seymour Fink is retired and Thomas Mark is in Oregon. One can imagine my excitement when I found out about the Taubman technique. I have always wanted to introduce ideas from Fink into my playing, but at my stage I find it very difficult as I do not have enough experience to diagnose my own problems. I am hoping that the Taubman method is similar enough that I can build an excellent framework for learning to think about the piano physiologically.

I'd like to ask whether there is anyone here who is familiar enough with both the work of Fink and Mark as well as with the school of technical thought espoused by Taubman to comment on the similarities/differences between the approaches.


P.S. I might be moving to California soon so...if anyone knows a good Taubman teacher I'd be glad to hear from you \:\)

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#436185 - 01/21/09 01:39 AM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Fink's push into the keys from the elbow is something I seem to do though it's a subtle thing. I had a masterclass with him years ago - I didn't like the shape of his hands, they weren't relaxed. Still, he's one of the few that won't harm you.
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.

#436186 - 01/23/09 04:50 PM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
dmc092657 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 277
Last summer I went to one of Barbara Lister-Sink's weeklong workshops. It was at Winston-Saelm College in NC where she teaches. I felt it would be useful since I was recovering from an injury. It was very enjoyable and truly opened up my perspective about how to approach the piano physiologically. From a technical standpoint, she doesn't break any new ground (and she doesn't claim to either), but she integrates all the important elements and presents it in a way thats easily understood. The emphasis is on releasing tension as you play. The tough part is breaking old habits. She has released a DVD to provide an introduction to her technique.

I should also mention that her approach is very similar to the Taubman one and she speaks highly of them. She does admit to some differences of opinion on some things but from what I could see they were insignificant. She also recommends Thomas Mark's book but I haven't heard her express an opinion on Fink's.

Finally, she has trained a number of teachers around the country in her method so I'm sure you can find some in CA. She could probably tell you.

My experience with her was very positive. She's very pleasant and outgoing. Also a fabulous player. I'd recommend her highly.

Her website for more info or to purchase her DVD is here

#436187 - 01/23/09 04:56 PM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Also done a masterclass with her. I'm giving to understand she no longer drops into the keyboard from a height.
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.

#436188 - 01/26/09 11:30 AM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
dmc092657 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 277
I'm giving to understand she no longer drops into the keyboard from a height.
When I was with her she didn't advocate that. But very early in the workshop she had students doing a drop to merely acquire the feel of allowing arm weight (i.e. gravity) to drive one's playing. The intent was to slow down & exaggerate the free fall motion for teaching purposes (rather like learning a new piece of music very slowly at first). Once you start applying it to actual music, the motion has to be condensed and refined. She mentioned that many people mistook this exaggerated motion from her DVD to be a hallmark of her approach. But thats not what she's advocating. Its merely a first step. I think the confusion also comes about because it takes a while to incorporate this into one's mechanics so you tend to keep doing it to make it automatic. I had a few private lessons with her that week and she was often telling me to keep my hands closer to the keyboard. Once it became automatic, things became easier.

#436189 - 01/27/09 09:55 PM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
pomona Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Washington State
I remember reading Seymour Fink's book years ago and being somewhat dismayed by some of his ideas. I think that was in part because I was studying with a Taubman teacher and the Taubman approach believes that our playing apparatus (the hand, arm and finger) move together in the same direction and that this is based on the way the body moves with the greatest ease and speed. Seymour Fink does not think along these alignment lines. I think Tom Mark's book is very good and if you can find a Taubman teacher they would complement each other very well.

I think a good place to find a teacher might be at Golandsky.com
Edna Golandsky is the leading proponent of the Taubman technique. Good luck!

#436190 - 01/27/09 10:53 PM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
jscomposer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 537
Loc: The Boogie Down
Originally posted by pomona:
I think a good place to find a teacher might be at Golandsky.com[/b]
That's http://www.golandskyinstitute.org/

But I didn't see any ways of finding Taubman teachers in your area on that site. You can do that here (bottom of the page)... http://www.taubman-institute.com/html/other_programs.html
Joshua Seth plays Joshua Seth

#436191 - 01/28/09 02:09 AM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
abelian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 9
Thanks for all the information!

If anyone else has anything to contribute, please do.

#436192 - 01/30/09 10:22 PM Re: Seymour Fink and Taubman Technique
Treble and Bass Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/22/08
Posts: 6
You can find excellent Taubman trained teachers on the Golandsky Institute website, but it is difficult to know where to look. So just follow these steps:
-Go to www.golandskyinstitute.org
-On home page, look under the large "G" for "About the Golandsky Institute". Click on it.
-Now click on "Finding a teacher of the Taubman Approach".
-You can now see the names of the teachers on the faculty of the Institute. If they are not in your area, scroll down all the way to "Click here to view participants in the Golandsky Institute's Professional Training Program." When you clikc here you will find more teachers of the Approach who are in the training program. Good luck with your search!


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