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 […]

Rethinking Long Tones

One of the staples of practicing a wind instrument or a string instrument is holding sustained tones. The initial aim of practicing “long tones” is to improve sound, intonation and (for some musicians) endurance. Yet I’m still taken aback at the amount of musicians I encounter who view long tone practice as a mindless activity […]

This Change In Attitude Can Help You Play With Much Less Strain

The main thing I look for whenever I’m giving an Alexander Technique lesson to a musician for the first time is preparation. I want to see what my student does those brief seconds before she or he starts to play. Playing music involves movement, and movement requires preparation, whether it is done consciously or unconsciously. […]

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 […]

An Important Component of Effective Practice That Is Too Often Overlooked

Whenever I meet with a musician for the first time to give a practice coaching session, I ask lots of questions about musical goals, as well as the procedures to attain those goals. In essence, these questions fall under the category of two broader questions: “What would you like to have?”  and “What are you […]