CTYPE html> Twelve Metaphors for Taubman Technique, Intro

Point of Sound

Twelve Metaphors to Help You Understand Taubman Technique on a Body Level


Taubman technique has a reputation for being primarily about intricacies of forearm rotation--but there is so much more to fulfilling its promise of effortless, highly expressive playing. Unfortunately, physical coordinations are very hard to explain or demonstrate in general--at least to a person who lacks some sort of prior preparation, or essential intuition or insight. There are so many caveats to coordination that even the hard sciences are waging an uphill battle to explain it in a theoretical sense. So, how can even a highly knowledgeable piano teacher convey a particularly complex idea about coordination such as Taubman technique—especially to a student who lacks such preparation or insight?

Metaphors can reach and exceed the worth of a thousand words. Particularly when they are applied to you personally by a knowledgeable teacher who is sensitive to you, they can generate the “aha moments” that can help you best coordinate yourself for the piano. They can train your awareness on parts of you that are stuck and are keeping your playing stuck—parts that no one can see--and help you solve coordination problems in terms of something you understand and deeply accept. They can also help people see the sense of practicing in ways that are different from their habitual ones, but much more fruitful. They can be particularly useful for people who, like me, instinctively question authority.  

Here are twelve metaphors to help you and your amazing body along the path of understanding what Taubman technique is all about. A number of them are handily grasped even by young children. They have the potential to help you whether or not you are working with someone, but I believe you will do yourself a huge service to get some skilled guidance.

1. Pole vault
2. Tripping
3. Gymnastics Springboard
4. Stiff Leg Dead Lift
5. Patio Pavers
6. Etch a Sketch
7. Dots
8. Tippy chair
9. Training Wheels
10. Swiss watch
11. The arm is the car and the fingers are the passengers
12. Chi Running


next: Pole Vault