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.

I started the Alexander Technique due to slight scoliosis and a stretched nerve in my left lower back and I thought it would improve my posture which could only help my injury! I've got far more out of the technique than just improved posture! The first thing that I've learned is how to work with my Alexander Technique teacher and my body to control the pain! When the horrible muscle spasms start, I can now use breathing to help instead of lying on the floor helpless. Instead of focusing on what I can't do or do incorrectly, my teacher has helped me to understand what I do right and to do things that I didn't think that I could do. I found out that I have model hips rather than a twisted spine and that I can sit on an exercise ball without falling over! In short, the technique has made a huge difference to my life. I would recommend it to everyone and strongly believe that it should be on the NHS!

Lyndsey Hayes - Social Sciences teacher
See the benefits of Alexander Technique