Playing an Instrument

Tension generated by musicians spending long hours of playing, both in rehearsal and performance, often cause them to experience pain, discomfort and technical limitation in playing.

Alexander Technique can help you:

  • avoid creating pain when playing
  • improve your instrumental technique and quality of action in playing
  • transform tone quality
  • enhance freedom and stage presence in performance
  • gain more control of breathing

 

The word ‘technique’ in Alexander Technique is akin to the word ‘technique’ as applied to musical instruments.

The Alexander Technique addresses you as the instrument that plays the instrument.

It works by helping you become aware of and change habits of misuse that affect the way you play. The principles of the Technique teach a way of thinking that can apply to any movement or situation and any technique, be it vibrato, circular breathing or walking on to the platform.

By having Alexander lessons you will not only develop a strong foundation to your instrumental technique, but also find that you can cope with stage fright and perform more reliably. In particular, you can improve your stage presence and communication with the audience.

Taking the weight of heavy instruments while playing, for example a bass or cello, is another challenge the Alexander Technique can help you with.

At about the age of 45, I began to experience severe pain in both of my knees. I was told I had damaged the cartilage, initially caused by the use of a kicking strap on a sailing dinghy, and made worse by many years of beagling, and to stop beagling or risk ending up in a wheelchair. A few years later a friend suggested the Alexander Technique. At first I was very sceptical, but had also reached the stage where I was ready to try virtually any means to solve the problem. A few weeks after my first lesson, I had gone out beagling, but only walking. Some hounds had separated from the main pack and the Master asked a friend to go and bring them back. As the friend ran past me, he asked me to accompany him in order to help him. I was amazed I could run without any pain whatsoever. My back pain had also almost completely disappeared although it remained a small problem for a while. If the pain recurred, I would almost immediately lie down to apply the Technique. It is now many years since I last had back pain. I am now 75 years old and still go out beagling.

Chris Walsh
See the benefits of Alexander Technique