It is a challenge to try to summarize the experience [of the Alexander Technique], as I find it (and it finds me) being the constant change, not there to be grasped. The most measureable is the sharpening of all the senses. My violinist ears react to the most subtle nuances in the sound and the experience is that of all the senses 'working' on the sound (and the means that are producing it), when I play. This has made possible the greater awareness in the moment present. [A musician] is only able to do something about the sound (the moment) that is being produced, nothing past nor nothing to come. With all that, of course, comes freedom. The breathing, the freedom of movement, the freshness, the spontaneity, the creativity, the joy of it all. Through the Alexander training I am becoming more whole: as a person, as an artist.
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.