Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Scott Price


Focal dystonia is a movement disorder that precludes the execution of fine motor skills. Although research on focal dystonia has been intensified during the last few decades, particularly because it has affected eminent musicians such as pianists Leon Fleisher and Gary Graffman, violinist Peter Oundjian, and oboist Alex Klein, there are still several answered questions, as well as numerous misconceptions, commonly associated with this disorder. This document comprehensively explores dystonia’s mechanism of action, causes, potential risks, and treatments. The publicly available statements of three prominent concert pianists who successfully recovered from focal dystonia are also included in this document. Additionally, the document comprises the author’s insights after utilizing the Taubman Method to control the symptoms caused by this movement disorder.


© 2020, Juan Nicolás Morales Espitia