Language Matters: Optimizing Effort by Modifying Word Choices

One of the key things I take notice of when giving an Alexander Technique lesson to a musician for the first time, is the language my student is using to describe what they are doing when playing their instrument. Words are necessary, of course, to help inform me about their needs, as well as to […]

Resonance, Time and Ease (A Warm-up Meditation)

Just as my practice goals and strategies evolve over time, so does my conception and implementation of warming up to practice. Recently, one of the musicians that I coach asked me to elaborate more specifically how I’m currently warming up. So I thought I’d share my thoughts here with you all. In the past few […]

Deep Listening: Thoughts from a Master Improviser

One of my all-time favorite musicians is pianist, composer, improviser and educator, Ran Blake, who has been teaching at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music for over 40 years. He has also amassed a significant body of recorded work that is simply stunning. The first time I heard his music, the most significant impression it […]

Optimizing Practice: Giving Consciousness Priority Over Repetition

Anybody who knows me as an Alexander Technique teacher knows that I’m not a big fan of what is commonly referred to as “muscle memory”. Besides the fact that the name itself is misleading and overly simple (it’s not so much your muscles “remembering”, as it is your brain changing how it communicates with your […]

The “Other” Essential Skill You Should be Consciously Cultivating in Your Daily Practice

Your sound. The sound you imagine and create on your instrument is the defining element of who you are as a musical artist. I’ve yet to encounter a serious musician who doesn’t consciously  dedicate a certain amount of time daily exclusively  to the exploration and cultivation of their sound. A beautiful sound is perhaps the  […]