Robert Dvorkin

Another concept that I believe in very strongly as a performer and teacher is Deliberate Practice, sometimes called Intentional Practice. There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles written about this, but two books that influenced me greatly are Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin, and The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle. In both these books the authors debunk the myth that so-called talented people are able to do what they do “naturally”, without any particular effort. Using real-world examples they demonstrate that what we see as a finished product, that often “looks easy”, is actually the result of thousands of iterations of a particular objective, and not just mindless repetition, but focussed, critical practice using the feedback that you get from your own effort. This meshes beautifully with the Taubman Approach, because the technique is very specific about how to achieve any particular goal. So in helping students, I show them, by breaking down a movement into manageable components, exactly what and how to practice, how something should feel, and how to make corrections. The repetition therefore should evolve into the correct movement organically, using the student’s own faculties to guide the process. This makes the whole piano-playing experience conscious and predictable — and very gratifying.