the piano ball The Alexander Technique,
Music and the Piano

notes from my
teaching practice

The Alexander Technique can give
the pianist -- young or old -- a
different experience of playing.

We all begin with strong backs and good use . . .

baby sitting The AT begins by observing the connection

between head, neck and back (torso).

From this primary relationship we extend

out to the arms and legs. We've all seen babies

demonstrate what Alexander called "good use."

The Technique works essentially

to take away that which interferes with this

natural state.

The beginnings of keyboard work . . .

rasing bench

To help the young pianist (re)discover the natural

sense of a seated balance which supports the arms

while playing, he or she needs to be elevated

(eg., books, cushions, or the ball). Further, foot

stools should be used so that smaller students

can receive more sensory input from their feet.

Without these connections--both through the

sitting bones and the feet, students are frequently

not properly grounded, either in themselves

or in their playing.

Achieve good posture by taking away
the bad . . .

Music teachers often concern themselves
with their students' posture, trying to get
their students to stop slumping, for
example, or sit up straight.

Remarkably, trying to fix postural problems
directly usually makes matter worse. This is
because making superficial, temporary
adjustments, often creates even more tension.

In contrast, the Alexander Technique attempts
to go to the source of students' misuse by in an
unique way calling attention to it, both with
the teacher'a hands and with simple verbal

3 drummers

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| Teaching Posters: Learning Forward and Up; The Startle Response; Lifting; Concepts of Use: I |
(last update: IX..26.2002) Comments and questions to