Concepts of the Alexander Technique and Practical Ideas for Musicians

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American String Teacher

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My intent with this article is to speak about my understanding of some concepts and ideas that were inspired by my years of studying the Alexander Technique and putting the work into daily practice.

I first became interested in the Alexander Technique as a violin student of Professor Nicolas Chumachenco at the Musikhochsuchule Freiburg. The Alexander Technique lessons I took during those years helped me develop as a violinist and became the groundwork of my technical approach to the instrument. Fast-forward many years—these concepts are now a central aspect of my violin teaching, and I have found ways to transmit my understanding to my students at Portland State University (PSU) and at master classes around the country. By attending my colleague Lisa Marsh’s “Body Mapping” class at PSU and through conversations with Alexander Technique teachers such as Eve Bernfeld, Michael D. Frederick, and Juilliard School faculty member Lori Schiff, I continue to build and refine my understanding and teaching of these concepts.

It is important to note that no article can replace the benefit of hands-on work with a certified Alexander Technique teacher, but it can indeed be a useful introduction to new thoughts and a catalyst to learning more about the way musicians use their bodies.


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