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 […]

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 […]

Teaching and Learning Music: Being Mindful of Metaphors

Whenever I give a first Alexander Technique lesson to a musician, it is not uncommon that certain misconceptions about playing music come to light. It is ofttimes  an anatomic and/or physiologic misconception specific to the physical demands of playing the particular instrument. It can also be a misconception about the acoustical principles involved with the […]

Physical Efficiency in Playing Music: A Question of Economy

Many highly skilled and accomplished musicians have lots to say about efficiency in playing their particular instrument. Whether it is about what the hands/fingers should (or shouldn’t do), or the arms and legs, or how any particular part of the oral mechanism involved in playing functions optimally, there seems to be no shortage of opinions […]