Optimizing Practice: Habit Versus Choice

After teaching the Alexander Technique to musicians for a number of years now, one thing I can assert with confidence is that there’s never such thing as a “typical” lesson. In fact, I usually have no idea what I’ll be working on with my student at the beginning of a lesson. My only agenda is […]

Practicing Music: There Are No Foolproof Exercises

Musicians love to share advice in an attempt to help other musicians. (I’m no exception.) And it probably goes without saying that some of the advice is helpful, and some isn’t. One of the most common forms of advice that I often take issue with is when a musician blindly prescribes a particular exercise to another musician […]

Standing And Sitting To Play Music: Two Important Mechanical Principles

Practically without exception whenever I give a musician an Alexander Technique lesson, I witness habits of imbalance and tension in the acts of sitting and standing that sharply impact the musician’s coordination, comfort and sense of control and satisfaction. Because they are so deeply ingrained, the sensations of these habits fall below the kinesthetic “radar” […]

A Technique To Help You Improve Your Odds

Without a doubt, the greatest tool I possess as a musician is the Alexander Technique. By applying the Alexander principles, I’ve been able to not only solve a very serious problem that threatened my musical career, but also, continue to find growth, improvement and insights into the challenges that I, and many other musicians encounter. After years […]

Six Quotes About Learning (And Unlearning) That Inform My Teaching And Practice

Everything that I write on this blog, whether it’s about practicing more efficiently, improvising with greater skill and expression, or about how to avoid injury and strain, is based largely upon the ideas of a person who didn’t even play music. Yet his ideas continue to serve me well, both in helping me to help […]