…is my Trumpet/Brass Studio (Skype/North Carolina/Guest residencies) combining my trumpet/brass teaching and my Alexander Technique teaching.
It is nearly impossible for me to separate my musical teaching concepts from the principles of Alexander Technique: Awareness, Observation, Inhibition and Direction, as I’ve been studying AT since 1991 and have been incorporating these concepts since then.
I am a fully certified AT teacher from the ‘NC Teacher Training program of the Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studies’ run by Robin Gilmore with guest teachers. My training and lineage comes largely from the teachers of Marjorie Barstow School, a Nebraskan who studied directly with F.M. Alexander in the mid 1900’s.
‘Thinking in Activity’ and applying AT to daily activities is the focus of this school’s teaching, an approach I find especially prescient and practical for Musicians.
In the world we are constantly in relation with ourselves and other people and objects.
The Alexander Technique is a proven method of increasing efficiency and mobility in any activity. It presents a practical process by which one’s whole self, body and mind may be re-educated to restore, refresh and renew the innate reflexes and responses to life’s activities and challenges. The students learn to open up to themselves and their potential in every moment.
Within the AT, we study the potent mind body connection and how we can learn to use our full selves more efficiently and move with greater ease and freedom in every activity that we do. Many performers of all kinds take the technique, primarily because it encourages choice in every moment and actively promotes the act of undoing and UNLEARNING our physical and mental responses through the guidance of a teacher. The organization of the whole self and the coordination of the body and the mind is attained through the power of thought and pausing. Additionally, Alexander Technique serves to develop and encourage one’s kinesthetic awareness — which our current culture and lifestyle do not always support.
The teacher guides the student to ease and freedom in their movements through an increased awareness of their habitual reactions, and redirects them to their primary coordination, present from birth.
Athletes and performing artists use the technique to enhance their skills. Other applications include reducing chronic tension and fatigue associated with office work and other daily activities. The integration of the technique into one’s living positively impacts every aspect of life and is successful in remedying many overuse and misuse injuries brought on by faulty technique or imbalance – a common occurrence in musicians.
This technique helps access additional pathways to your personal practice, rehearsal and performance excellence by rediscovering your potent mind/ body connection and innate coordination — resulting in increased efficiency, enhanced skills and ease of movement.
The Alexander Technique was developed by F. M. Alexander, a 26-year old well-known Australian orator in the 1890’s who lost his voice when speaking. His mind/body technique allowed him to access his full self and his primary coordination, and thereby restored his voice. He was the first to discover our mind/body connection, now being proven by modern science. He subsequently observed improved and easeful breathing and overall coordination in all his activities. Originally known as ‘The Breathing Doctor’, he became best known for the totality of his ground breaking discoveries and eventually taught his findings and particular method to enable all to benefit.
I am a member of Alexander Technique International. Their website is full of information, and is a wonderful resource of great information.
Another excellent website offering videos and links to other AT websites is offered by a fellow AT teacher, Robert Rickover: The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique
For any students interested in following up on my Conscious Constructive Rest offerings: Constructive Rest and the Alexander Technique
Recommended books/Websites pdf list: Judith Saxton FREE FLOW Alex. Tech. Books/Websites