Curriculum of The Well-Balanced Pianist
Participants in The Well-Balanced Pianist programs experience full schedules of lessons and clinics, packed with supportive interaction among all participants and teachers.
For the curriculum of specific events, please visit the Upcoming page.
There are six core elements to our program curriculum:
By helping you improve your listening and understanding of different styles, and helping remove technical barriers, our instructors help you to allow your inner artist to emerge.
Healthy Piano Technique
Everyone can play the piano well. As a bonus, the healthy movements that allow you to play your best will also allow you to play comfortably for your entire life!
Your mindset determines how quickly you learn and progress, how securely you perform, and how much you enjoy playing the piano in private and in performance.
Bodywork & Excercise
When we move our bodies cooperatively, the body offers stability and flexibility to the small limbs, and brings them to the place where they can act most efficiently.
Lesson observation, teaching demonstrations with neighborhood student volunteers and clinics such as “a beginner’s first lessons,” “teaching elementary students,” and “moving people’s hands and arms” help you provide a well-balanced, healthy piano education to your students.
Lesson and practice partners, interactive clinics, shared meals and mindset discussions contribute to a supportive community in which participants feel comfortable exploring new solutions.
The following is a general example of what any program may include.
- Piano lessons with Dr. Teresa Dybvig, Susan Nowicki, or a guest artist/clinician.
- Scheduled private bodywork sessions in Yoga, Alexander, Aston-Patterning, or Feldenkrais. Previous experience in of these disciplines is not required.
- Clinics, focusing on our core elements of musicianship, whole-body movement, teaching, pedagogy, or an aspect of the Taubman Approach to Piano Technique. Clinics may start with group lessons, so people know what to do when they work separately with their partners. No previous experience in the Taubman approach or bodywork discipline is required.
- Work with partners is central to The Well-Balanced Pianist programs. In bigger programs, lessons are scheduled in partner groups. Partners observe one another’s lessons, and practice together as desired. Partner group work helps keep spirits up while keeping focus sharp. People also improve their teaching in partner group work. In programs whose schedules do not allow for partner groups, we encourage participants to commit to partners whose lessons they observe throughout the session, and with whom they practice as desired.
- Group classes in which all students observe and sometimes help one another, giving all participants an opportunity to observe people working at all levels. This helps people develop a sense of the big picture of well-balanced piano playing, performing, and teaching.
- Scheduled breaks for walks, beach excursions, or hikes.
- Special events such as presentations or interactive classes on interpretation, memory, or performance mindset.
- Guided discussion on optimal mindset for practice and performance. We draw from a wide range of materials to start our discussions. Examples include Don Greene’s Performance Success, Bill Moore’s Playing Your Best When It Counts series, Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Kenny Werner’s Effortless Mastery, and inspiring talks on video!
- In longer programs, a Works-in-Progress recital, during which people perform something they worked on during the session – anything from one beautiful note played by a well-trained thumb, to Beethoven sonata movements.