Overview of the Alexander Technique:
Musicians and Actors are offered Alexander Technique lessons at all of the top conservatories in the world. Most musicians and actors have heard of this technique and describe it as posture work, but very few can describe what it actually is.
Rather than thinking of ourselves as performing mental or physical tasks, the student of the Alexander Technique gains a better understanding that they are actually a fully integrated thinking-feeling-physical being. By learning about the general principles of movement – how we use gravity to carry weight and maintain an upright poise and navigate our actions – the Alexander Technique student is able to build better coordination, access more supple breathing, and have a calmer and more energized attitude while performing any task. The benefits of studying the technique extend into every facet of the students life.
Alexander Technique teachers give the pupil the sensations of freedom and ease that have been lost to habits of strain over time. They use their words and hands to guide pupils through simple daily actions such as standing and sitting from a chair. Hands are placed on the student in such a way that the muscles can soften and lengthen, and the joints can free up and ease can be regained. Only from this release of tension will healthy and coordinated movement be possible. Through practical demonstration, the student learns a means whereby they can change the habits that block and injure them at and away from their instrument. Even for a student who has no perceived joint pain, greater levels of freedom and therefore sound production are possible.
Students are not given homework per se, but they are asked to lie down in Active Rest for 5-15 minutes every day. After the basic principles of standing, sitting, and lying down are covered, the student may find it beneficial to have lessons with their instrument. Every instrument has its’ own challenges and every student has a different shape, but comfortable and healthy playing produces the most brilliant tone and is possible for everyone.
Lessons are taught in Williamsburg Brooklyn or in the main space of NYJW on 37th street in the heart of Manhattan.
I worked for 9 years in NYC startups designing algorithms. Following a workplace repetitive strain injury, I found my way to the Alexander Technique at the suggestion of my saxophone teacher Marc Mommaas and found the benefits to be all-encompassing in my life. I have studied and trained to teach Alexander Technique since 2011 and am a member of the American and Dutch professional societies. In 2016, I trained to teach in NYC. The following year I moved to Amsterdam and completed a 3 year teacher training with Tessa Marwick and Paul Versteeg at their world class school. My +1000 private lessons have been predominantly with Beret Arcaya. In the UK, I studied with Karen Wentworth, Ruth Murray, Sean Carrey, and Ted McNamara.
“I have progressed from not being able to hold a glass of water to playing Koko at 300bpm.”
I understand the process of rebuilding a foundation of poise and am in a unique position to help my students achieve the same thing for themselves. I believe that the student should walk away from every lesson with an experience of greater freedom and ease and a better understanding of how they can maintain this for themselves in their own life.