THE WELL-BALANCED PIANIST
The Integrated Approach Dr. Teresa Dybvig, Director

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Colorado
June 2018


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Words of students with dystonia

Some of the peope who wrote testimonals for this page are wiling to communicate with you if you are considering retraining and want to talk to someone about what it's like. If you would like to talk to Teresa Dybvig or one of these students, just contact The Well-Balanced Pianist.

"I wouldn't be an active musician today if it wasn't for Teresa Dybvig's careful guidance through the challenge of recovery. Today I don't even consider myself a person with dystonia."
Mary Ellen Haupert, Associate Professor of Music and pianist, LaCrosse, Wisconsin


"Almost 6 years ago I was diagnosed with dystonia, and my doctor recommended I try the Taubman Technique instead of other invasive solutions which were not even guaranteed to permanently cure me. Soon I began studying with Teresa Dybvig. I rarely feel the involuntary movement any more. Some days I wake up and I don't even remember which hand had the dystonia. I was able to complete my Masters degree in piano performance, and am now continuing to perform. The retraining process was difficult at times, but very rewarding overall. I am very happy and feel very fortunate to not have had to abandon my musical career in piano."
G.C., Pianist and Piano teacher, Toronto, Canada


"I came to Dr. Teresa Dybvig with an involuntary movement in my fourth and fifth fingers of the right hand in 2006. Four years later, I am performing solo repertoire again and feel technically equipped to play anything I want. A friend recently heard me play the Liszt Tarantella and said, "I would never have guessed you were injured." The process of retraining with Terry is a profound one; it is physical, mental, and spiritual. Without getting into all the niceties of the work, I feel not only transformed physically in my use of fingers, hands, and arms, and the relationship of these playing parts to the body, but also my approach to the music. If you have an involuntary movement and want to walk the path of recovery to performing at your absolute best, I recommend wholeheartedly Dr. Dybvig as your guide."
G.T., pianist and teacher, Norfolk, VA


"During a rehearsal a few days ago, I consciously thought of how grateful I am that I am still playing piano. Music feeds my soul and I am happiest when I am playing. About 10 years ago, I thought I would have to quit because of physical problems and pain in my right hand. It took a few years for doctors to diagnose me with dystonia.

"Five years ago, as I was on my way home from the neurologist, my husband found information online about Teresa Dybvig and The Well-Balanced Pianist. Terry and her program have completely changed my life. I have been attending the workshop every summer, and I continue to be amazed at her knowledge, her problem-solving skills, her insight, and her caring approach as she works with each of us. Her entire staff is outstanding. Progress continues and lifelong friendships are formed as we work in teams. I am still a work in progress, but I now know that it is possible to be symptom-free. I don't identify myself as a pianist with dystonia, and I am quite active as an accompanist. It is getting easier to play all the time.

"Please consider attending a workshop this summer. There are answers and solutions that work! It is a process of unlearning and relearning. It takes patience, but it is so worth it. I have had teammates from several different countries travel to the workshops, because Terry has been the only person who knew how to help them. In every single case, there has been progress.
Linda Cody, Accompanist and Teacher, Denver, Colorado


"Working with Teresa Dybvig of The Well-Balanced Pianist has been an amazing experience. For eight years I was unable to play the piano because of dystonia in my right hand. Now, after three years of working with Teresa, I am playing "real repertoire" -- Chopin nocturnes and Rachmaninoff preludes, and accompanying several choirs. Most of my symptoms have disappeared and I have hope that they will be entirely eradicated.

"What I believe is special about Terry's approach is her integrated approach to playing. She works with you as a whole person. In addition to technique, we have explored such pertinent issues as performance anxiety, memorizing music, and practice techniques through readings and discussions. Also, she has encouraged me to work with various specialists in Alexander work, Aston patterning and Iyengar yoga which has complemented my work at the piano and given me a much greater physical awareness. Working in groups with other musicians with dystonia has helped me learn how to recognize my own habits and clarify solutions.

"Retraining is a challenging experience, but I have learned that with persistence and patience you can make incredible changes and experience the joy of playing again."
H.H., pianist and college music instructor, Vancouver, Canada


Some of the peope who wrote testimonals for this page are wiling to communicate with you if you are considering retraining and want to talk to someone about what it's like. If you would like to talk to Teresa Dybvig or one of these students, just contact The Well-Balanced Pianist.



We have more options for your reading pleasure:

If you're wondering if The Well-Balanced Pianist is for you, read what past participants have to say.

Read quotes from anonymous evaluations of Well-Balanced Pianist programs

Read more statements from students of Teresa Dybvig

A note to you from director Teresa Dybvig:

Here is a page devoted to signed statements from students with dystonia.

I have resisted the urgings of well-intentioned people to ask for signed testimonials, because I want our students to feel that the program is there to take care of them -- not the other way around.

On the other hand, I wanted pianists with dystonia who are searching for answers to have a place to go where they could find a hopeful message, so I asked my students if they had anything they wanted to say to you. And some said yes!. I hope you feel more opimistic after reading about their experiences.

I want to thank each and every person who shared details about a painful and difficult period of your life on this page. You didn't have to put in the time and effort, and that makes every word all the more special and heartwarming.

With gratitude,
Teresa Dybvig