Practice Paying Attention To Yourself To Improve Your Performance

It’s not unusual for musicians new to the study of the Alexander Technique to be a little bit wary of the idea of being more intentionally aware in order to change their habits when playing music. He or she can be put off by the idea that paying attention in this new “Alexander” way (awareness, […]

Using Your Body To Play Music: Integrate Instead Of Isolate

One of the common traps that many musicians fall into is in thinking that one part of their body is almost entirely responsible for their sound: If it’s a flutist, it’s the lips. If it’s a violinist, its the hands. If it’s a singer, it’s the vocal mechanisms, and so forth. But in reality, this […]

Want To Clarify Your Musical Thinking? Start Singing

One of the often overlooked skills that an improvising musician needs to develop is the ability to sing clearly, easily and accurately, any musical musical idea that comes to mind. Whether it’s a scale fragment, melodic sequence or an entire phrase from a transcribed solo, to play with connection to the music, you must be […]

Think Expansively To Play Better Music

As both a performing artist and an  Alexander Technique teacher, I tend to observe the physical manifestations of a musician’s performance with one simple inquiry: “Is this person mostly expanding or mostly contracting as she or he makes music?” In essence, I’m looking for whether or not she or he is primarily gaining or losing […]

Master The Art Of Stopping To Improve How You Practice

Recently a talented young violinist came to me for Alexander Technique lessons because he couldn’t play for more than about 10 minutes at a stretch without feeling significant amounts of pain and tension, particularly in his left shoulder area. After listening to him talk about how he approaches practice, then observing his overall habits of […]