"The interactive joining of minds in the partner groups greatly increases the speed of learning."
"Before I encountered the Taubman approach, everything was about pushing and 'efforting.' Now it's about letting things flow and getting out of my own way. I've learned that I don't need to create an artifice of myself, that my self will do just fine."
"I feel more interested in pursuing playing again than I have in a very long time."
After this particular lunch, we talked about how to write in a healthy way. During other meals, we had scheduled and unscheduled discussions about The Taubman Techniques videos, about mental attitude in practice and performance, and about our various journeys:
"The feeling of community was also very special--there was nothing put on here, it was all so genuinely supportive and amicable."
"Meeting and talking with and hearing people talk about the realities of their own journeys was very helpful to me."
"The atmosphere was wonderful. The people were easy to get along with. The food was tasty. I could go on and on. I would highly recommend it to anyone who was interested."
Games are excellent teaching tools! Here, we are playing "patty-cake".
Well-Balanced Pianist for you?
The Well-Balanced Pianist is an unusual program in many senses:
The Well-Balanced Pianist is for you if...
..you are willing to be open to another way of
...you want to take charge of your own learning.
...you want to experience more freedom at the piano, if you want to explore new possibilities in sound, or if you are plagued by performance anxieties. The Well-Balanced Pianist will give you the opportunity to move forward in a challenging but supportive atmosphere. You won't believe what can happen in six days!
...you are searching for a comprehensive understanding of piano performance as it relates to the tools of technic and the mindfulness of performance.
...you are searching for an approach that will allow you to play with freedom of movement and reach your full potential.
...you are looking for a non-threatening environment where you can meet others who are curious about the process of learning. You will also have a unique opportunity to work with two fabulous teachers who are truly supportive of you and will guide you in your journey to improve your piano playing.
...you seek to replace a work ethic of stress and frustration with one of joy and ease.
...you want to rediscover the joy of playing the piano.
...you want a friendly and encouraging environment to learn and perform.
...you want to feel good about playing without any pain.
...you want to increase confidence at the piano.
...you think you are beyond the age to be attending summer festivals.
...you are a teacher who needs answers.
...you want to teach children a good foundation.
...you want to solve technical problems more quickly and efficiently.
...you have tried many different methods (both musical and technical) but never found any solution.
...you want to understand sound production.
...you don't have a lot of time to practice and you need to learn music quickly.
...you practice and work and try, but certain problem passages just dont get reliable, or even better.
...you prepare and prepare and feel ready but are disappointed when you perform.
...you find yourself getting frustrated, emotional, even mad at yourself when trying to practice and learn.
...you are making a sincere effort in your study and playing, but just not experiencing the results you want.
...you have a nagging sense of something missing in ease or enjoyment, when you practice and/or perform.
...you feel like youre smart and capable, but wonder why your hard work doesnt pay off in better playing experiences.
...you are a serious amateur that is striving to improve your technique and performance skills. The combination of professional and amateur students, covering a wide age spectrum, all in the caring hands of dedicated specialists, will give you the opportunity for a big step forward in your work. It is also great to shut everything but piano out of your life for a few days and just concentrate on where you are going and how you are planning to get there.
And then one person wrote a little piece about her own experience with The Well-Balanced Pianist:
"It was only recently that I realized that some of my resistance to playing the piano might come from the physical unease I experience when playing; it seemed to me that some pianists were able to play with no physical symptoms, very unlike me. When I found out it was "unnatural" to play with tension, fatigue and awkwardness, I never had any doubts about what I had to do, so when The Well-Balanced Pianist came to my doorstep (7 minute drive from my house), I jumped right in.
"I believe The Well-Balanced Pianist requires an open mind as well as a willingness to learn and try things you might have never considered before, because, unlike much of what we see in performing musicians, this program is about what you can barely see and feel in your body but nevertheless has the most impact in your playing. It might be compared with the way a balance or imbalance of micronutrients (vitamins, mineral, trace elements) affect the body's health.
"In my opinion, most players can improve how they use their body to play, and I will add that a certain humility might be necessary for some who are usually more focused on their repertoire than on improving seemingly minute technical issues at the instrument.
Everyone at The Well-Balanced Pianist starts at the same place, which is one of physical discomfort or lack of flow and musicality, regardless of repertoire. The work then consists of analyzing what is happening to learn to undo it or do something that will help. Terry and Susan are unique instructors not only for what they show us but also how they do it, inspiring us to get closer to a real balance as pianists."