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October 23, 2020, Lori Piitz:  “Retraining”

When pianists find themselves with an injury it is important that they seek advice and care from a medical professional.  When they are finally able to return to the piano they may need to rethink the way they have been playing in order not to re-injury themselves.  I would like to share what I have learned about retraining from my work with Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink (Freeing the Caged Bird), and from my own experience working with injured pianists.

Lori Piitz is Professor of Piano at JMU where, in addition to working with talented piano students, she also teaches graduate courses in pedagogy and “Preparing for the Job Market.” A versatile artist, her career includes such diverse opportunities as playing chamber music at Lincoln Center in New York City and performing in a German opera house dressed as a baby chick! While living in Germany she held the position of orchestra pianist with the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra and frequently performed recitals with members of that orchestra.  Piano four-hand recitals have taken her to Canada, Europe and the United States, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. One of her particular interests is piano technique, and she holds a certification in Injury-Preventive Piano Technique.  Before coming to JMU she taught at the University of Ottawa, Eastern Mennonite University, the Augsburg/Nürnberg Hochschule für Musik and at the Abraxas Musical Akademie in Munich.