Imagination Plus Clear Direction Equals Good Intonation

I had a wonderful moment of revelation this morning as I practiced my saxophone. It was one of those experiences that helps me to better see how interconnected thought is to result when it comes to playing music (or doing anything else, for that matter). I was working on my intonation by playing long tones […]

The Art Of Making Mistakes

“Your biggest mistake wasn’t in playing the wrong note. Your biggest mistake was in what you did after you played the wrong note.” I heard this during a saxophone lesson I took nearly thirty years ago from the great teacher and woodwinds artist, Bill Green. I vividly remember what he told me word for word because […]

How Often Do You Stop Listening To Yourself As You Practice Your Instrument?

I was giving an Alexander Technique lesson this morning to a young violinist who had come to me because of some problems with pain and tension (particularly in his left shoulder) as he played. This morning I wanted to see what he does with himself as he practices, so I had him practice an arpeggio […]

Opening Your Mouth: One Simple Tip For Wind Instrumentalists And Singers

As an Alexander Technique teacher, one of the most common habits of mal-coordination I observe involves how wind instrumentalists and singers open their mouths as they perform. Whether to take a breath, or to simply set the embouchure (in the case of the wind player), I too often see this: the performer opening the mouth […]

A Master Musician Talks About Growth And Improvement

This is an excerpt from a video about the great cellist, Janos Starker. Here he is working with a young cellist in front of a group in master class. He listens carefully, then gives her one simple thing to change in how she produce her vibrato. Immediately we hear an improvement. You can actually see […]