“It has been my good fortune to study the Alexander Technique with a few of the best teachers in the country (on both coasts), and Bill Plake is certainly to be counted among them. His empathy is unparalleled, his own teaching technique is superb, and his vast knowledge is constantly renewed by an insatiable curiosity. He also happens to be a superior musician and this gives him deep insight into the physical and mental relationships musicians have as they address their instruments.”
George McMullen, professional trombonist, New York and Los Angeles
“My lessons with Bill have been a fascinating exploration of ‘how I do music’, focused on the essential kinesthetic awareness which his direct experience with the Alexander Technique brings. The practice of unifying our awareness, encompassing our mental, physical and spiritual selves is enhanced with Bill’s breadth of knowledge in music, anatomy, neuroscience, languages and philosophy. He is a teacher who is open, committed to learning and always bringing something more to the moment. Working with Bill is changing the way I practice, hear, think about and play music. As I learn with him, I am actually teaching myself how to play in a more liberated manner.”
– Paul Livingstone, professional sitarist, concert artist, studio musician, composer, music educator
Online Lessons Via Skype
Alexander Technique Movement Assessments For Musicians
While I can’t offer regular, ongoing Alexander Technique lessons via Skype (in my opinion, you really do need to find a certified teacher with whom you can work in person), I can provide a consultation assessing your movement habits as they pertain to playing your instrument. My aim here is to bring your awareness to some of the movement and postural habits you have that might be causing pain and/or other difficulties (such as coordination, tempo, or intonation issues, etc.) as you play your instrument.
I’ll give you a detailed (but easily understood) assessment as well as practical advice about how you can begin to change your habits. We’ll also look at how you hold and position your instrument, and I’ll give you some practical self-care strategies to help you stay healthy and pain free. This is a viable alternative if you don’t have access to a certified Alexander Technique teacher in your area. My rate is $90.00 for a 1-hour consultation, which includes a written, detailed evaluation and suggested changes for your improvement. I will be happy to speak with you by phone for a 10-minute consultation for free, so that you can see if you’d like to go forward with your full 1-hour consultation. Contact me to set up and appointment or to learn more. For all online lessons you’ll need: a Webcam, a computer (with decent processing speed), and a Skype account or FaceTime.
Practice Coaching/Trouble Shooting
If you’re getting stuck in your progress, I can assess your problems in relation to your practice routine (with respect to your goals) and help you design and implement a practice program that will get you back on track to improvement and growth. We can work via Skype and email. My rate is $70.00 for a one-hour session, including any and all exercises that I write for you. Please contact me to set up and appointment or to learn more. For all online lessons you’ll need: a Webcam, a computer (with decent processing speed), and a Skype account.
Lessons/Coaching in Jazz Improvisation
Whether you’re a beginner, or a more seasoned player who’d like to find some new ways to approach improvisation, I can help.
For beginning improvisers, I’ll show you how to avoid a lot of the most common frustrations that many novices to this art form needlessly struggle with. Improvisation is a natural, human activity, that all musicians are capable of enjoying. You can learn to find and cultivate your personal, expressive voice starting from your first lesson.
For the more advanced improviser, my specialty is in helping you expand your tonal and rhythmic vocabulary, in order to help you cultivate a unique, personal expression. We’ll work with deepening your understanding and application of the materials of music, including advanced harmonic concepts, melodic and thematic development, rhythmic control and imagination, eartraining, form/structure, and more. We can work via Skype and email.
My rate is $70.00 for a one-hour session, including any and all exercises that I write for you. Please contact me to set up and appointment or to learn more. For all online lessons you’ll need: a Webcam, a computer (with decent processing speed), and a Skype account.
Lessons in Person
I offer lessons in the Alexander Technique, improvisation lessons for all instrumentalists at all levels, and saxophone lessons for all levels. I’m located in Los Angeles, California, a few minutes northeast of downtown in the Monterey Hills area.
Lessons in the Alexander Technique
- $90.00 for a one-hour lesson
- $800.00 for a series of ten lessons
I’m also available for small group teaching (3 to 6 participants) at an adjustable rate. Please visit my Alexander Technique Website for more details and contact information.
Lessons in improvisation and saxophone
- $50.00 for a 45 minute lesson (beginners only)
- $70.00 for a 1 hour lesson (saxophone and/or improvisation, all levels)
Please contact me to set up an appointment or to learn more
I am available as a practice coach for intermediate through professional level musicians.
Please contact me to set up an appointment or to learn more
Finally, I’m available to come offsite to teach either the Alexander Technique or music (or both together) to groups.
I can custom design a program for your group’s specific needs, or offer my own time-tested programs. My most popular course is Primary Instrument: Understanding Your Body In Relation To Making Music, which is a one-day intensive in the Alexander Technique, functional anatomy and body mapping. Please contact me for rates and details.