The Well-Balanced Pianist Instructors

Teresa Dybvig

Pianist Teresa Dybvig played the piano from a young age, performing her first full-length solo recital at the age of thirteen. She has continued performing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the US, in Europe, and in the Mideast. For more about Teresa Dybvig, to listen to a clip from audio recordings, or read some of her articles, please visit TeresaDybvig.com (opens in a new window).  She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from Yale University School of Music. She received the Bachelor of Music in piano performance, with High Distinction, and the Master’s degree in piano performance, with Distinction, from Indiana University. Numerous prizes and scholarships, including the Charles H. Ditson Award for Outstanding Performer, a full scholarship at Yale, and the Honors Scholarship at Indiana, supported her education and performance. Her most influential major teachers include Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, and James Tocco. While she was working on her degree from Yale, she began her years-long study of Dorothy Taubman’s approach to piano technique with Edna Golandsky in conjunction with Dorothy Taubman.

Dr. Dybvig’s expertise is much sought after. Not only does she teach privately at home in Long Island, her busy teaching schedule also regularly takes her to students in Manhattan, Denver, and Chicago. She has also taught regularly in La Crosse, WI and St. Paul, MN. She was a member of the faculty of the Taubman Institute of Piano from 1995 to 2002, and the Golandsky Institute, through 2004. She also taught undergraduate music theory, formal analysis, music literature, and ear-training at Indiana University and Boston University. In 2003, she founded The Balanced Pianist, now The Well-Balanced Pianist, in order to provide pianists with a place to learn healthy physical and mental practice, performing, and teaching habits in a supportive, interactive atmosphere.

In conjunction with her specialty in helping pianists with injuries to play in a healthier and more effective way, Dr. Dybvig has developed a sub-specialty of teaching pianists with focal hand dystonia to change their incoordinate habits and return to playing. In 2008, she presented a talk about her work at the International Congress on Musicians’ Medicine in Milan, Italy. In July 2011, Dr. Dybvig gave a 45-minute presentation with video demonstrations about her work with pianists with dystonia at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.


Judy Huston works with clients who need help with rehabilitation and recovery from injuries, surgery, and repetitive motion disorders. She works within the paradigms of Aston-Patterning and Craniosacral Therapy, offering private bodywork and movement sessions as well as classes. She has also taught piano since she was 17, when she began by apprentice teaching with her mother, Eloise Ristad.

Ms. Huston was trained by Judith Aston, internationally renowned somatic therapy innovator, and Anna and John Chitty, local innovators in Polarity Therapy and Craniosacral Biodynamics. She received her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 1990 from the University of Colorado, where she studied with Doris Pridinoff Lehnert and David Burge. After 25 years of teaching music, and observing the bodies of her students, Judy decided to broaden her understanding of the body. After receiving Aston-Patterning sessions for a dance injury, she found a passion for that body of work. She completed the Aston Fitness Training program in 1993, the Aston-Patterning certification training under Judith Aston in 1995, and the Aston Arthro-Kinetics program in 1999. In 2002, she began the Certification training in Craniosacral Biodynamics, and completed requirements for certification in August of 2004. She is currently taking additional training in Somatic Experiencing from a Craniosacral viewpoint from Anna Chitty.

Judy has always danced, from ballet and modern to international folk and African, to contact improvisation. At the age of 30, with two small children, she took up gymnastics and later, springboard diving.

Susan Nowicki has served as coach, assistant chorus master, and continuo performer for the Philadelphia Singers, Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Opera Festival of New Jersey and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony among others, and served as musical assistant for the Philadelphia Singers’ three RCA Red Seal releases. Ms. Nowicki has performed throughout the United States on piano, fortepiano and harpsichord, as soloist and in collaboration with singers and instrumentalists such as Pamela Frank, Peter Lloyd, and Emily Golden, performs frequently with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has toured with Community Concerts under the auspices of CAMI. An avid performer of contemporary music, Ms Nowicki has premiered and performed works with Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001, and has recorded contemporary music for the Albany, Capstone and North-South labels. With trumpeter Terry Everson she has toured nationally and released CDs of recent music for the International Trumpet Guild and De Haske labels. She has also produced and performed on a release of chamber works by Jan Krzywicki for Albany Records.

Susan Nowicki is a faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music where she coaches for the Vocal Studies Department. Ms. Nowicki is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician for music festivals and competitions. She maintains a private piano studio in Philadelphia, PA, was a faculty member of the Taubman and Golandsky Institutes from 1997 through 2005, and has been a Piano Instructor for the Well-Balanced Pianist since 2003.

Sharon Oliensis began studying the Feldenkrais Method® in 1987 as a professional dancer because it helped her with both the technical and artistic aspects of dance, as well as preventing recurrent back spasms.

Sharon graduated from a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Training Program with Frank Wildman in 1993. In 2001 she completed a three year mentoring training with Larry Goldfarb, and in 2006, completed a Children’s Mastery Training with Anat Baniel.

Sharon has been teaching group classes and private lessons in the Feldenkrais Method since 1993. These have included ongoing classes for the New York times, the Peninsula Spa, Time Warner, and the 63rd St. YMCA. She has been a guest presenter for Bristol Meyers, Lord & Taylor, Purchase College Pilates Center, Manhattan College, and the Feldenkrais Institute. Ms. Oliensis is currently on the faculty of the Feldenkrais Learning Center and the New School Creative Arts Therapies program.

Ms. Oliensis works with a wide variety of clients. She specializes in working with dancers, actors, musicians, and visual artists to help them learn how subtle shifts in the ways they move can dramatically enhance their performing and technical skills and increase their longevity. Stress and injury-related pain can often be eliminated or significantly reduced easily and quickly through the Feldenkrais Method.

Sharon Oliensis

Ariel has been teaching Alexander Technique in Philadelphia since 1988 and is certified through Alexander Technique International. In addition to her private practice, she has coached instrumentalists and singers at the Curtis Institute of Music since 1998 and previously produced the Freedom to Make Music Alexander Technique Conference for Musicians  in New York City. Ariel trains teachers at the Philadelphia School for the Alexander Technique and has also been guest faculty for training programs in Toronto, Tokyo and Osaka. She has presented at the Freedom to Act conference in NYC, ATI’s Annual General Meeting and the 11th International Congress for Alexander Technique. Previously she has taught at the Brind School of Theater at the University of the Arts and Allentown College’s Dance Department. Active as a dancer and choreographer for most of her life, Ariel has a Master’s degree from Wesleyan University in Movement and Dance and has an extensive background in modern dance, ballet, contact improvisation, T’ai Chi, Pilates, Ideokinesis, Laban Movement Analysis, and Bartenieff Fundamentals. For more information, visit www.atphila.com.