The Serendipitous Gifts of Studying the Alexander Technique

The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.                   –Serendipity  (as defined by the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language)   It was my frightening and frustrating struggle as a saxophonist with focal dystonia (a neurologically based movement disorder that impairs coordination) […]

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 […]

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 […]

My Main Objective When Practicing Something Difficult

Is there an ideal, universal, one-size-fits-all objective that musicians have when practicing something they perceive as being “difficult”? Well, certainly the most obvious objective is to become functionally proficient with the very thing that’s being practiced. But there are typically several other aims nested inside that main objective when practicing difficult music. How about you? […]