"The application of the technique is highly individual," explains John Bloomfield. "The success of the mentoring system has been dramatic. We see over and over that with the right input by an experienced teacher, most teachers can develop their own pedagogical skills to a much higher level. Students are learning faster and more thoroughly than ever before."
The teacher training workshops that take place several times a year in New York City and Philadelphia are one of the mainstays of the mentoring system. "Taubman teachers never stop refining their skills," concludes John Bloomfield.
There are also yearly summer symposiums, which are held at Princeton University. During a program-packed week, the institute offers explorations of the Taubman Approach on many levels. Currently the Institute employs 13 faculty members during their Princeton symposiums: 11 certified associates and instructors and 10 additional participants from its professional training program.
I remember the first time I attended a Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium at Princeton. Gene Hollinger, an elderly gentleman, whose subtle tone at the piano I had noticed in my amateur piano group, invited me to see for myself what had changed his life at the piano forever.
The week spent at the beautiful campus was an experience in itself. Long days filled with fascinating seminars, lectures and demonstrations at the piano created the ideal learning environment. Lecturers became artists at nightly concerts, and amateurs found new levels of accomplishment. Strangers connected with each other over incredible stories that injured pianists, who got their careers back, shared, and teachers who never thought they had it in them to teach found their life’s purpose. Striving for excellence and social interaction and exchange went hand in hand, adding up to a very personal, unforgettable experience.
Being able to immerse myself completely in piano playing for an entire week was a dream come true in itself. But the most amazing aspect of that summer for me was the intensity with which the Taubman Approach was being demonstrated.
In the seminars, the basic elements of the Taubman Approach were explained on different levels, for beginners as well as for returning students. Lectures focused on specific details that were further explored in groups put together according to level of expertise. Senior director Robert Durso led one of the most vivid group sessions I recall. Captivating group members with a remarkably precise investigation into the needs of each student, he delivered his wisdom with a great sense of humor and insight into human nature. The institute’s assistants who - according to specific instructions by the teacher - continued to coach students in their practice time clarified further questions during private lessons.