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   The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique
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Musicians and the Alexander Technique

"Some fingers (no doubt because of too much writing and playing in
earlier years) have become quite weak, so that I can hardly use them."

- from the 1839 biographical notes of Robert Schumann, pianist and composer
In 1988, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians surveyed orchestral musicians and found from the 2,212 respondents that 76 percent had a significant medical problem that affected their ability to play.

Listen to a podast interview about the usefulness of the Alexander Technique for Musicians

Listen to additional podcast interviews about Musicians and the Alexander Technique

Listen to an interview with Sir Colin Davis about his conducting, and about the role of the Alexander Technique

Watch Alexaner Technique: Musician's Method for Improvement

Be Wary of Good Advice - Excellent suggestions for musicians

The Alexander Technique has a long history of helping instrumentalists and singers to perform with less stress and likelihood of injury. Musicians do some of the most complex and demanding physical movements of any profession. In recent years, the term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) has come into popular use, but musicians have always had to face the challenge of performing the same complex muscular actions over and over again.

By helping musicians improve the quality of the physical movements involved in playing an instrument or singing, the Alexander Technique also helps improve the quality of the music itself. A violinist's stiff shoulders and arms will get in the way of a pleasing sound; a singer's tight neck or jaw will cause the voice to become less resonant. By helping musicians release undue tension in their bodies, the Alexander Technique makes possible a performance which is more fluid and lively, less tense and rigid.

Over the years, a number of prominent musicians have publicly endorsed the Alexander Technique: Yehudi Menuhin, Paul McCartney, Sting, Julian Bream, James Galwayand the conductor Sir Adrian Boult, to name but a few.

The Technique is taught at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, The Royal College of Music in London, The Boston Conservatory of Music, The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and at many other schools of music, universities and colleges.

Alexander Technique Resources for Musicians:

Information of Special Interest to:
Singers and Singing Teachers - Violinists - Pianists - Guitarists - Oboists - Flutists - Accordionists - Cellists - Trumpet Players

Information of General Interest to all Musicians:
(For the most part, these articles present clearly-written, basic introductions. They come from different perspectives on the topic and it will probably be useful to take a look at a number of them.)

Poise in Performance: The Alexander Technique for Musicians

The Alexander Technique

Preventing Music Performance Injuries and Tension

The Alexander Technique - A Technique for Musicians

Marshalling Your Body's Intelligence - Alexander Technique for Musicians

A Musician's Journey with the Alexander Technique

A Musician's Journal Into Wellness

Principles of the Alexander Technique and their Relevance to Music Education (pdf download)

Alexander Technique for Musicians (Word document download)

An Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique and the Musician

Working with Musicians and the Alexander Technique

Inspiring Musical Performance (Word document download)

Three Musicians Talk About the Alexander Technique

Three Musicians Continue Their Talk About the Alexander Technique

Three Musicians Conclude Their Talk About the Alexander Technique

Some Talk of Alexander...

Andover Educators: What every musician needs to know about their body

The Alexander Music School in Southern Spain

For Singers and Singing Teachers:

Singers, Singing Teachers and the Alexander Technique

An Alexander Technique teacher's take on sub glottal air pressure for singers (video)

Correct Posture for Singers

Curing Voice Problems with the Alexander Technique

Using your Voice and Body Well (pdf fine)

Voice Work in the Alexander Technique (pdf file)

Breathing, Mother of Rhythm (pdf file)

Stage Fright: What it is and What to do About It

For Violinists:

Violinist in Balance - Effects of changes in chin and shoulder rests and Alexander Technique lessons on playing technique

The Violinist's Guide to the Alexander Technique

A Violinist's Experience with the Alexander Technique

For Pianists:

Why I Study the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique and Piano

Two Means to Freedom and Ease: The Taubman Approach and the Alexander Technique

For Guitarists:

The Whole Guitarist

A Classical Guitar student wites about his initial experiences with the Alexander Technique

For Oboists:

Oboe Woes - Challenges Facing the Oboist

For Flutists:

Teaching Flute Lessons with Alexander Principles

The Alexander Technique: Lecture Given to the Flute Performance Class at the University of Massachusetts (pdf file)

For Accordionists:

Alexander Technique and the Playing of the Accordion

For Cellists:

The Well-Tempered Cellist

For Trumpet Players:

Video of John Hennes talking about the Alexander Technique and Trumpet Playing

Books
There are a number of books about the Alexander Technique of special interest to musicians.
Short descriptions and information about ordering these books can be found at either:
Alexander Technique Bookstore (USA) in Association with AMAZON.COM, or
Alexander Technique Bookshop (UK) in Association with AMAZON.CO.UK


 
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