Posts by Ethan Kind
English Horn – The Ideal Way to Begin or Retrain (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)
This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to English Horn Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate horn technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
If you have never played the English horn, what would be the ideal way to begin? If you’re a beginner, you want to start from the beginning learning a wonderful technique and great posture from a kind teacher who doesn’t let you slide. What do I mean by a teacher who doesn’t let you slide?
As you’re learning from the English horn teacher how to create a balanced fully upright posture and how to use your whole body to create a technique that is mechanically advantageous, your teacher lovingly does not ever let you get away with compromising your posture and technique.
Does this sound harsh? It isn’t. It is extraordinarily loving, because if the teacher is absolutely clear about teaching you how to sit or stand and play the English horn with the greatest balance and the most effortless technique, then whether you practice a half hour a day or six hours a day, you will become a wonderful player and want to practice and/or perform for others, and it will be easy.
Is it possible to get this from one teacher? It is possible if your English horn teacher is an excellent Alexander Technique teacher also, or has done enough work with an Alexander Technique teacher to convey great overall posture and good use to the student.
What if you can’t find such an English horn teacher, then I believe the ideal situation would be to find the best English horn teacher you can and the best Alexander Technique teacher you can and alternate between them. A word of caution, make sure the English horn teacher is ok with an Alexander Technique teacher tweaking the English horn teacher’s instrumental technique, or this won’t work.
Ex: I’m now teaching the Kind Piano Technique with the assistance of a very fine pianist who has spent the last two years learning this technique from me. For the first time in her performing and accompanying career, she is not hurting and is realizing there is no piano work worth learning, that she can’t find an effortless or near effortless way to perform the whole piece without pain, strain and struggle.
This pianist and I are teaching the Kind Piano Technique to students, beginners to advanced, alternating lessons between us each week. What would truly be ideal, is if the students took lessons from both of us each week, but this is generally not practical for most students.
I have created, mastered, and can teach this technique, and I can demonstrate it at the most refined Alexandrian level in exercises at the piano, but I have not pursued becoming a pianist. As an Alexander Technique teacher, I am very very good at seeing the things that musical performers (English horn player) do on all instruments that compromise their technique. With my Alexander Technique skills and the principles of great English horn technique, I trouble shoot and solve any technique problem a English horn player or other performing musician has.
What this means, is that I can instantly see what the English horn player is doing that compromises his or her technique, and I help the English horn player find the most effortless way to play. I can also see and change old technique problems that sneak back into the English horn player’s playing. Ex: Many English horn players have never learned to release fingers that aren’t playing, and this can creep back into a English horn player’s new technique, as the difficulty of the pieces increases.
So, find a wonderful English horn teacher and a wonderful Alexander Technique teacher and go for it, beginner or advanced.