This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Performing Musicians and Exercise, is published on this website in a PDF format. It shows the performing musician how to exercise without causing wear and tear to the body or compromise the quality of their performing technique.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
As an Alexander Technique teacher I assume that the average person has the strength to play a musical instrument or sing.
As long as a child or adult is active in some way, they’ll have the necessary strength to play an instrument. Alexander Technique teachers see the problems that most people have on musical instruments as the result of trying to play or sing with too much effort and poor technique. When you play an instrument or sing trying too hard you exhaust yourself, and this feels as if you’re too weak to play for long periods. You aren’t too weak, you’re working too hard.
It doesn’t matter how strong or conditioned you make your muscles through exercise, if you practice with bad technique, you will exhaust and strain your musculature. I started weightlifting and running when I was sixteen-years-old, eight years after I began the guitar, and before I did any Alexander Technique work. The way I lifted and ran, with so much excess tension and poor posture, that they both had a negative effect on my playing rather than enhancing it.
I was already sacrificing my body at the instrument with poor postural use and poor guitar technique. So, between bad guitar technique and poor technique in running and weightlifting, I ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist.
It took an Alexander Technique teacher to save me from myself. After I worked with an Alexander Technique teacher I continued to weightlift and play the guitar, and I rarely got injured, because I focused on how I lifted and played the guitar, rather than getting results at any cost. In other words I stayed with the means over the ends.
So, I don’t have to strain to lift, which would cause compression between my bones. If you also strain to play an instrument with bad alignment and try to play with accuracy, you will exhaust the musculature of the body and cause compression between the joints. By definition, trying is doing too much physical work. We have a saying in the Alexander Technique, “Don’t try, do”.
So, how do you run, swim, do yoga, or weightlift, so that the exercise or yoga is an enhancement to your performance, rather than a detriment? You stay with the means, which means that if you exercise or do yoga without joint compression, you won’t feel as if you can’t play your instrument well after exercising or doing yoga.
This ebook is an overview of how to run, swim, do yoga, or weightlift, without sacrificing accuracy on your instrument or in singing.