Dorothy Taubman

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Dorothy Taubman

Dorothy Taubman (August 16, 1917 – April 3, 2013)[1][2] was an American music teacher, lecturer, and founder of the Taubman Institute of Piano.[3] She developed the "Taubman Approach" to piano playing, though her approach provoked controversy.[4][5]


Taubman was born in the East New York section of Brooklyn on August 16, 1917. Her parents, Benjamin and Bertha, were immigrants from Russia; her father, a businessman, committed suicide after the stock market crashed in 1929. Taubman never graduated from college, but took courses at Juilliard and Columbia University and studied with the renowned pianist Rosalyn Tureck[6] for a year. In her 20s, her son said, she decided her calling was to be a teacher, not a concert pianist.

Taubman directed the Dorothy Taubman Institute of Piano at Amherst College in Massachusetts from 1976 to 2002.[7] She was formerly a professor at Temple University and at the Aaron Copland School of Music in Queens College, and was featured in numerous articles and interviewed in the Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times; and the Piano Quarterly, Piano and Keyboard, and Clavier magazines. Taubman was noted for her work with injured musicians. Her students include the American pianist Leon Fleisher,[8] Edna Golandsky,[9] Frank Lévy, Natan Brand, and Yoheved Kaplinsky.

Besides offering a diagnostic system aimed at solving the musical and physiological problems of piano interpretation, the techniques Taubman pioneered have been used therapeutically to treat repetitive strain injuries related to piano playing, and generally to rehabilitate injured pianists.[10] Her techniques have been adapted to computer keyboard typing.[11]

In 1938 she married Harry Taubman, a businessman in the men’s clothing industry and the younger brother of Howard Taubman, chief music and theater critic in the 1950s and 1960s for The New York Times. With Harry, she had one son, who is dean of the school of medicine and dentistry at the University of Rochester.


Taubman died from pneumonia on April 3, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of 95.[12]


  1. ^ Paget, Clive (April 4, 2013). "Piano pedagogue Dorothy Taubman has died". Limelight Magazine. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  2. ^ Dorothy Taubman obituary, Gramercy Park Memorial Chapel (accessed 2103-04-04).
  3. ^ Maria del Pico Taylor, American Music Teacher, "My "super teacher": Dorothy Taubman", April 1, 2004.
  4. ^ Berkley Hudson, Los Angeles Times, "In a Controversial Technique, O.C. Musicians Teach How to Move in Harmony for Health", October 19, 1994.
  5. ^ Pereira, Dr. William A. Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, 1995
  6. ^ Schweitzer, Vivian (April 16, 2013). "Dorothy Taubman, Therapist for Pianists, Dies at 95". New York Times.
  7. ^ Richard Dyer, Boston Globe, "Dorothy Taubman teaches piano without pain", August 13, 1995 (pay site).
  8. ^ "More Than the Sound of Music". Los Angeles Times. 1997-11-07. Archived from the original on 2020-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  9. ^ Jan Herman, Los Angeles Times, "More than the Sound of Music", November 7, 1997.
  10. ^ Greta Beigel, Los Angeles Times, "Virtuosity in Motion at the Taubman Institute", August 29, 1994.
  11. ^ Berkley Hudson, Los Angeles Times, "Go With the Flow: The unnatural way you move your body may be causing you pain. Think of the hand, fingers and arm as one.", November 15, 1994.
  12. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (2013-04-16). "Dorothy Taubman, Therapist for Pianists, Dies at 95". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-18.

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