Jerry Titel, M.D.
I am a physician anesthesiologist and have been practicing medicine for nearly thirty years. I have been interested in the piano since early childhood. At my mother’s insistence, I began piano lessons around the age of five. I studied the piano through high school and into my first years of college, but I gave it up because of other academic interests and a lack of time. Years later I tried to get back into it, but despite my efforts, my playing did not improve. I heard about Taubman’s approach to the piano, and found a Taubman teacher. Things started to get better thereafter.
This approach is the first – at least that I’ve heard of – that considers human anatomy and physiology as part of the process of piano playing. The teaching is based on a knowledge of anatomy and physiology. When one thinks about it, it is obvious that this is how it should be, but the question must be stimulated in people’s minds before it becomes obvious. It has taken me two years to really “get the feel” for this information, to “peel away” my bad technical habits, and replace them with healthy movements. My playing has been affected dramatically, and I continually see improvement. Before studying this approach, my playing did not improve, and although I felt the need to change what I was doing, I did not know what or how to change. Now when I practice, I can isolate problem areas and employ the necessary techniques to make the passages work.
This work has allowed me to diagnose problems and figure out solutions. Just this morning, by way of example, I shared with my teacher how I had analyzed a problem I’d had in playing octaves, and had been able to find the solution myself.
The intensive summer program offered by the Institute is, I think, one of the greatest experiences someone interested in the piano could have anywhere. Each time I attend, I have a lot of fun, I am stimulated by ideas and discussion, and I meet a lot of wonderful people. The concerts in the evening are outstanding – it’s almost too exciting to leave.
Impressive results with the Taubman approach in relieving and preventing injuries and also facilitating greater accomplishment at the piano appears to me to be a gross understatement.
Jerry Titel, M.D. (Marion, New York)