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 […]

Strength, Coordination And Endurance: Avoiding Confusion

Each faculty acquires fitness for its function by performing its function -Herbert Spencer A good number of musicians who seek my help as an Alexander Technique teacher do so because of a problem with endurance. In the simplest sense, they can’t seem to play for prolonged periods without fatigue and/or pain. In many of these […]

One Of The Most Overlooked Elements Of Effective Sight-Reading

One of the absolute best sight readers I’ve ever had a chance to play with (a saxophonist by the name of David Hughes) had a saying about reading even the most difficult music at sight: Sight-reading is as much an attitude as it is a skill. And it is. There is a good deal of […]

Something You Do When You Practice That Is Always A Good Use Of Your Time

If you practice patience in one moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow. -Chinese Proverb Serious, daily musical practice is something that is loaded with speculation and second-guessing. Lots of “should’ve, would’ve and could’ve”, as my father would say. Whenever I’m giving a practice coaching session to a musician, the topic […]

Teaching And Learning Music: A Built-In Problem In Exhanging Information

The longer I teach the Alexander Technique to musicians, the more frequently one particular issue arises: the lack of clarity between cause and effect where practice and technique are concerned. Below is a brilliant description of this potential obstacle to progress: The players/teachers do what they do; they tell the student what they think they […]