Two Main Reasons Inefficient Practice Advice Gets Perpetuated

One of the things I usually discover early on when teaching the Alexander Technique to musicians, is that part of the problem that led them to seek my help has to do with counterproductive pedagogy. With a wind instrumentalist, for example, I might observe what appears to be a forced, tense, noisy, unnatural-looking inhalation before […]

10 Recurring Principles Of Effective Practice (And Performance)

This past year I’ve had the privilege and honor to serve as practice coach and Alexander Technique teacher to some especially outstanding musicians, from elite orchestral members, to studio session pros, to full-time jazz artists. I’m always so thankful for what I learn from my students, and use what I learn not only to help […]

Improvisation: Using Silence As A Part Of Your Expression

It is often said about the great jazz trumpet player, Miles Davis, that a large part of his improvisational genius manifested itself not only in what he played, but also in what he didn’t play. His use of silence became an integral color of all his improvisations. It was largely responsible for keeping us, the […]

Something You Are Always Practicing When You Practice Music (Whether You Know It Or Not)

One of the biggest frustrations that many of the musicians have who seek my help as an Alexander Technique teacher is with consistency. Sometimes this seems to be within the practice cycle itself (some days you have it; others you don’t). And sometimes it seems to be the gap between the practice room and the […]

A Highly Effective (And Really Fun!) Way To Improve Your Ears

  There are so many resources available now for improving your ear, both for general musicianship, and more specifically for improvisation. One simple little device that can be immensely helpful is a drone. (I’m of course talking about a device that makes a continuous humming sound, not the aircraft.) In the past few months, I’ve […]