The Well-Balanced Pianist Las Vegas

June 24-29, 2020

The Well-Balanced Pianist is an intensive program to improve practice, performance, and teaching skills, through integrated focus on musicianship, piano technique, bodywork/movement, positive mindset, and current pedagogy, in a supportive, interactive environment.

When: 1:00 pm on Wednesday June 24 through 9:00 pm on Monday June 29

Location: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Faculty: Piano instructors Teresa Dybvig and Susan Nowicki along with Aston-Patterning Specialist Judy Huston and Feldenkrais Method Instructor Sharon Oliensis return to lead lessons, clinics, and mindset discussions.

Participants: The program is limited to 16 participants to ensure everyone receives personal attention.  Pianists high school age and above are invited to participate.

Note: No previous experience in the Taubman Approach, Aston-Patterning, or the Feldenkrais Method is required for participation in this program.

We would like to thank Dr. Nancy Uscher, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for recognizing the importance of wellness for performing artists, and welcoming our contribution to their ongoing efforts in the field.  We would also like to thank Randy Garcia, CEO of The Investment Counsel Company, Las Vegas for making it possible to bring The Well-Balanced Pianist to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Each participant can expect:

  1. Four half-hour lessons with Teresa Dybvig or Susan Nowicki
    • You will be partnered with 2 or 3 other students, who will attend your lessons, and, if you choose, your practice.
    • You choose what to work on during your lesson.
    • You are invited (urged even) to attend as many lessons as your concentration allows, unless the student specifies otherwise.
    • You will have all your lessons with one teacher. We will make every attempt to assign you to the teacher you prefer, but as you can imagine, we cannot guarantee. Do not worry! You will have a good teacher either way!
  1. Two 60-minute private sessions with Judy Huston and/or Sharon Oliensis.
  2. Daily skill-based clinics, in which faculty introduce a concept and work with each participant. On June 25, we will have a Basic Movements clinic for new participants and a clinic on Rotation for Changing Directions for returning participants. The faculty will determine the rest of the clinic topics according to the needs of program participants.
  3. Mealtime discussions about optimal mindset for practice and performance.
  4. One Q&A forum. Bring all your questions for the faculty to work on!
  5. Our Works-in-Progress recital will end the session.

The Schedule – Wednesday, June 24 at 1:00 pm through Monday, June 30 at 9:00 pm.

Check-in will start at 1 pm on Wednesday, June 24. The program will open later that day, with an orientation meeting at 4:00 pm, followed by a tour of the facilities. From 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm there will be an opening address and activities. We will end our day with a reception of light dinner and some 4-hand entertainment provided by Ms. Nowicki and Ms. Dybvig, along with entertainment by any others who would like to join in!

We will work most days from about 9 am to 6 pm, and then enjoy dinner together. One day will be an exception, however. On that day, will work for half a day then have an outing!

A Sample Day’s Schedule:

9:00 – 10:15 am Feldenkrais class
10:15 am – 12:00 pm Clinics
12:00 – 1:30 pm Lunch, with mindset discussion

1:30 – 6:00 pm

Lessons, practice, and private Feldenkrais and Aston-Patterning sessions
6:00 pm Dinner


Thursday Clinics.

Basic Movements – This clinic is for those of you who are new to us, or would like some review. First, Judy Huston will coach participants in basic body movement at the piano. Then, Susan Nowicki will coach participants in basic elements of alignment, balance, and movement, in playing the piano. This clinic will be based on fundamental concepts of Aston-Patterning  and the Taubman Approach to Piano Technique.

Rotation for Changing Direction –This clinic is for returning participants. With 88 keys and only 5 fingers per hand, a pianist’s hands need to change directions all the time – for scale crosses, moving from the thumb, moving from 5, and changes of direction in passagework.  Teresa Dybvig will draw from her experience with Dorothy Taubman’s approach to piano technique to show you how to change directions efficiently, and spot when it is necessary in music.

Tuition.  Because everyone receives personal attention, the program is limited to 16 participants.

Program tuition:

Early-Bird Regular
Deposit $680 $780
postmarked by
February 24, 2020 June 1, 2020
Balance at
$619 $619
Total fee $1299* $1399*

*Please remember that university music majors/recent graduates and those who participate in the Bring-a-friend program receive a $100 tuition discount.

If you want to be sure there are still openings before you send your deposit, please fill out the registration form and indicate in the message box that you are wondering about openings. We will hold your place and let you know if there is room for you in the program.

Music major/recent graduate discount. We know this is an important time of your life to develop your professional skills, so we instituted a $100 tuition discount to help you receive more training. Here is how it works:

You are eligible for this discount if you are in an undergraduate or graduate music degree program, or graduated from one in 2019 or later.

You will have the opportunity to let us know that you are eligible for the discount when you register.

We will ask you to let us know the name of your degree program and graduation date. Please bring your student ID card to check-in.

$100 will be deducted from the balance due the first day of the program.

Limit: one discount per person.

Bring-a-friend discount. Once you have registered, you can save $100 on your tuition balance by bringing a friend! Here is how it works:

First, register.

Recommend a friend who has never attended any Well-Balanced Pianist (or Balanced Pianist) program before.

When both of you register, be sure that both you and your friend let us know that your friend came to us through your recommendation.

You will receive a $100 tuition discount. The discount will be reflected in your balance.

Limit: one discount per person.

Registration policies:

Because everyone receives generous personal attention, registration is limited to 16 participants. Participants are accepted in the order of registrations received, pending receipt of deposits.

Registration is available through June 1, 2020.

If you would like to register as an Early Bird, your deposit check must be postmarked, or your PayPal deposit must be received, by February 24, 2020.

The fee includes lunches and most dinners. The fee does not include accommodation.

Refunds: $100 handling fee is nonrefundable. The remainder of your deposit is refundable until April 15, 2020. After April 15, 2020, we can refund your deposit only if there is someone on the waiting list to replace you. No refunds after June 1, 2020.

Please make checks out to The Well-Balanced Pianist.

Timing your travel.

If you travel by air, please plan to arrive at McCarran International Airport by 1:00 pm on June 24 (earlier will be more comfortable for you, since check-in starts at 1:00 pm). We will have a full day on Monday, June 29, so you should plan your departure for no earlier than the morning of June 30.

Please avoid late arrival times if you are staying in university housing.

Travel by air.

The closest airport is McCarren International Airport (LAS).  When you are looking for flights, check the Jet Blue AirwaysFrontier Airlines, and Southwest Airlines websites in addition to your favorite air travel websites, which do not always show budget airline options. You may also click here for a list of the many airlines that fly to and from this airport.

From the airport, there are several options for transportation to the music center – taxis, shuttles, and ride share. Your destination will be Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center address is 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, 89154.


If you are driving, the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center address is 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, 89154. Parking details will be available soon.

If you would like university accommodations, please let us know when you register.

University Housing.

A block of single rooms at a University of Nevada, Las Vegas residence hall has been set aside for us. The residence hall is a 12-14 minute walk from the music center.

The fee for university housing is $418. Payment is due at check-in on June 24. The housing reservation will cover the entire program, from check-in on June 24 through the morning of June 30. Checkout time is 12:00 pm on June 30. Late checkout will incur a fee.

If your goal is economy, or to be within walking distance of the program, this is your best bet. Each pair of bedrooms will share one private restroom facility adjoining the two bedrooms (2 people per restroom).

Complimentary use of the laundry facilities is included, but you will have to supply your own detergent and softener. These are available for purchase in the Student Union or in off campus shops.

The rooms are not equipped with a kitchen, although there are nearby dining options on and off campus. Fitness center and pool access is not included. Guest WiFi is available in the residence hall and throughout the campus.


If you are looking for more luxury than university housing can provide, there are several hotels in the area. You can find them by searching for hotels near the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center: 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, 89154. People who stay at any of the area hotels will need their own transportation. If you would like to stay at a local hotel, we suggest you make your reservations early.

You are on your own for breakfast. There are nearby dining options both on and off campus.

Lunches and dinners are included in your fee, except for one evening when we have dinner on our own. We will ask you to let us know about your dietary restrictions at registration. We always accommodate people’s restrictions. If your dietary needs change after registration, please be sure to let us know.