Alexander Technique

November 19, 2006 at 08:09 PM · I had been very concerned about the physical tension that was placed on me when I practiced at length. No matter how much I tried to "relax" or take small breaks between practicing, I still seemed to get sore.

I took 6 months of lessons from a teacher who introduced me to the Alexander Technique. I was only able to take 6 months of lessons from her, due to a move. I learned enough about it to get me interested in studying it out more.

I've been reading books about it and it is so amazing. I've already noticed improvement in how I play. It's amazing how even your tone is effected by how tense or relaxed you are.

I'm curious to know if any of you out there are familiar with the technique. I would love to have more feedback on it.

Thanks a lot.

Replies (44)

November 19, 2006 at 10:59 PM · Greetings,

I have written extensively on this topic on v.com over th last five years if you serach the archives. You might find some stuff of interest.

One of the things that always amazes me is thta when I attend a concert it is actually very easy to spot the players who have experienced a useful amount of lessons. Tehre is a freedom and joy about the way they mobe which is often absent from the majority. Not always the case of course. The really elite players are often applying the principles of Alexander quite naturally. That is why Heifetz, Starker, Rubenstein et al so often appears in books about AT that have nothign whatsoever to do with music.

The technique is pretty much mainstream now and th elist of music insititues using it very extensive. I was veyr lucky in a way/. As a freak of location I have been able to attend seminars and take many private lessons with some of the acknowledged best teahcer s in the world. Paradoxically this may have a ha da sdomewhat negative effect. The technique has become so widespread that inevitably there is quite a range of quality of teaching. Thus on ocassion I have unreservedly recommended AT and then a person has had a les sthan satisfactory experience. The way round this is of course, to go with personal recommendations plus a litlte homework in advance.

In general I have noticed quite a big difference between the kind of social psychology of Alexander`s and our time. Idly speculating., I think in Alexnders dya people were less verbal, less overloaded with information and so on. Thus a perosn would go to an AT lesson with the greta man, recive physical imput through the hands and learn without complaint. Alexander has warned time and time again in his writing that the spoken word is ambivalent and misleading when it comes to regaining our naturaluse of the body (and mind). Todays adults(?) are much less inclined to accept a kinesthetic approach and genreally wnat to know in advance what they are getting, why they are getitng it and so on. This need is fed by the plethora of books and DVDs on the subject now availaibe. In some ways this is helathy but on the whole I think it is a step back. One of the knock on effects of this is that a sthe client demands more bang for their buck the AT practitioner is perhaps forced to scurry around for theraputic type stuff, other kinds of massage or is reduced to giving the client `what they want` to protetc their income. This latter case is particlarly unfortunate sicne what people wnat is what they feel most comfortable with which is by and large habitula `misuse` of the body. An example of this is the increasing use of a great dela of work with the client lying on the table. This effectively reduces the sesison to somehtign very close to a nice relaxing massage and wa sveyr much spoekn against by Alexander. I always people who are looking for lessons to avoid teacher swho place a good dela of the lesson time on the table as it were.

The most interesting thing I discovered in terms of my playoing was how one can accumulate misconceptiosn about our natural sound that affetc what we do physiclaly quite adversely. In my case I am a beefy guy with heavy arms and I have , I think, always had this mental construct in whcih I was a really beefy player in the Oistrakh Stern mold. When I am working with a good teacher and I let go I find my own sound and use of the nbow is much closer to a model like Milstein for want of a better exmple. Alas I never seem to play as well as him...

Cheers,

Buri

November 19, 2006 at 11:24 PM · Sort of yes--and I 'think' it works. I was just instructed to chill on the muscle tenion--and geez.... All the whining of not being able to vibrato on G/D--not gone, but going....

Not only that, but there's an abstract level where it takes one, that makes my feelings about violin feel more in tune with how I felt when I first encountered her, and finding that spatial fluidity..

I would highly reccomend it and I've just started something similar. My background allows my understanding to be a few steps ahead of my accomodation, but I just have this feeling.

Please share what you find. al

November 19, 2006 at 11:31 PM · Greetings,

uts interesting. One of the most helpful lessons I ever had was from a wonderufl insturctor who was a dancer rather than musician. She suggested I just send a mental dierctive to my arms `Do less.` It is a very powerful heuristic for me.

Incidentally, one of the most often raised questions by violinists is `do I need ot go to an instructor who plays an instrument?` Most definitely not. Whether we use the body well of badly is epiphenomial to what we are doing. Arnold Steinheardt says somethign similar in one of the books about him. That a musician can leanr a greta deal from a good golf instructor.

Cheers,

Buri

November 20, 2006 at 12:09 AM · Well Buri, it was very instructional--and I 'do' hope what I was taught comes on line fairly quickly. I have to focus some on many of the things I was shown, because I'm a football player doing ballet with this stuff, but I don't even know how I know--I can just tell.

al

November 20, 2006 at 12:48 AM · I had a great experience with Alexander Technique. It helped me to get rid of so much tension in my playing. Previously, I would feel tense after a relatively small amount of playing. With the AT lessons, I gradually learnt the principals of the technique. It was amazing what difference that made to my playing when applied to the violin.

Although I don't have lessons any more, I will never forget the basics. And whenever I sense that I'm losing that relaxed feeling, I can just think back to the state of mind/body I had after my lessons. I'd really recommend it to anyone who's experiencing any tension in their playing.

Cheers,

Mike

November 20, 2006 at 02:33 PM · I used to attend masterclasses with my former teacher Rolando Prusak. He has a story of promising career start, increasing physical problems and then a new start aided by AT. Now he suggests to almost every student to start taking AT lessons, and works with basic AT principles in his own lessons.

His one-week masterclasses were two thirds violin instruction, single and class, and one third AT lessons by an experienced instructor. The instructor attended the classes, watched the students and then worked with them in single lessons, always starting with their own concerns, and then making suggestions from what he had observed.

I have seen many students for whom the combination worked like a charm. Movement and co-ordination often improved not only rapidly, but permanently. We all practised like hell all the time, but work was much more efficient, and much more relaxed, with AT principles at the back of your mind. You came home from these masterclasses and felt as if you had been on holidays.

There are other players who rely on Feldenkrais, or Yoga, or other schools that deal with movement conciousness. I came to believe that, no matter how, it's imperative to get aquainted with your own body and style of movement, something not many music teachers think about.

Best,

Friedrich

November 20, 2006 at 02:50 PM · I took classes from an Alexander Technique practitioner in Pasadena about 10 years ago. She had a private practice, but I heard about her through an adult education program at a community college. I had been suffering from back pain while sitting in orchestra rehearsals. These rehearsals usually lasted for 3h with a break in the middle, and I had been often in pretty severe pain even by the break. My Alexander teacher wasn't a musician herself, and hadn't worked with a violinist before, but she was up for it, so I brought my instrument to one of the sessions and played scales while she walked around me, observed, and then made minor adjustments to my posture while I was playing. I think she did this twice. I became able to sit and practice and sit in rehearsals for much longer periods of time than I had been able to previously. In my case, I did a lot of inappropriate leaning, "sitting up straight," and not sitting on my sitting bones. But I think it's different for everyone. That was 10 years ago and I'm now playing viola, and I think I could use a refresher. I've been gratified to notice, as others have also pointed out, that over those past 10 years the Alexander Technique has become quite widespread in music schools nowadays. Back then I'd never even heard of it in a music context at all. I was just desperately looking for something--anything--that would help me with my back pain so I could sit through a full orchestra rehearsal.

November 20, 2006 at 02:50 PM · I have read the original question again and would like to add something more specifically.

There is one recurring motive in AT, which is the "primary control". It often is repeated like a mantra: You free your neck, so that your back can lengthen and widen, and your head can go up and forward. Practicing AT means becoming concious of your own movements. It is not about overall slackening or relaxing, but about using your strength more economically. (AT it is a thoroughly rational and cognitive method.)

Obviously, all of this matters in violin playing. Giving concious directives to your limbs -- there was the example "Do less!" -- alters the way they move, and helps becoming concious of surplus tension and blocking. A very useful method of gaining conciousness over ayour movements is the stop-and-go method: While playing, you choose a random moment and just freeze. Then you try to feel what condition your body and limbs are in: tense? relaxed? forceful? light? in control? etc. Then you modify what there is to correct, and resume playing.

Working with AT at first seems to slow down your everyday practice, but in fact makes progress come much more easily and much less painfully. In my experience, at least.

Best,

Friedrich

November 20, 2006 at 05:42 PM · Thanks for all the advice. Very interesting. I went to hear a concert vioinist a couple nights ago. I was watching him closely. He was very pleasant to listen to, but watching his movements was something else. I was in a really good seat (so I could see him very well). His left arm was so stiff it made me sore! His vibrato was greatly hindered by it , I believe. During the intermission is could see him through a door, rubbing his neck and looking like he was in very much pain. I felt bad for him. Maybe this is a common thing, I don't know. It must be miserable doing that for a living..being in constant pain.

November 20, 2006 at 06:36 PM · It's sort of cool you brought this thread up. As noted, I just started working with this, and last night started loosening up the left arm. Cool. al

November 21, 2006 at 01:02 AM · Al--

I'm working on the left arm too. My hand and fingers are feeling really good. It's somewhere by my left shoulderblade that is feeling pain at times. I'm not sure where exactly (and that's my problem).

I'm going to try Friedrich's "freezing" strategy. It sounds like a good plan. Maybe then I'll be able to locate my tension area.

good luck. Ann

November 21, 2006 at 04:25 AM · Greetings,

there is a helpful exercise I have to use on some of my students. Let your arm hang utterly limpy at your side. Just pay attention to forward and up (if you have had AT lessons, that is.

Another person then picks up the dead weight of your arm. They can lift it up as high as it can move freely. They can bend it anywhich way but loose. The whole time you do -exactly nothing.= The arm remains dead meat thta is being manipulated in all directions. the manipulator must only go as far as the arm wants to to move or bend in any particular direction. you might find after working on this partner work for a time that your range of motion and freedom gradulayy increase. teh senation you experience is somewhat simlar to the minimal effort it would be nice to use in violin playign,

Cheers,

Buri

November 21, 2006 at 05:13 AM · Thanks Ann--it's an adventure. I hope within a few weeks to be at least making good progress. There is a video at Youtube where a David and Igor Oistrakh are playing a Prokofiev duet.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9ATBT775qoY

It was pointed out to me that the elder Oistrakh is a study in relaxed but controlled playing.

al

November 21, 2006 at 10:34 AM · Yes, David Oistrach really is a model for powerful, yet supple playing. Sometimes, in the middle of a piece, he would lift his massive head and turn it to the right, then back, all the while doing the most incredible things playing. His joints are completely free, the arms appear just to float in mid-air, and his meaty hands seem to merely touch the violin tenderly. His right wrist is never bent downwards, but the back of his hand usually is in line with his lower arm; this is a very efficient method to transmit arm weight to the bow without losing elasticity. The result is in the tone ...

Apart from conscious practicing, this style of playing professionally requires a certain athletic physical condition. If you don't have it from the start, you might need to strengthen and work out regularly. If a recitalist frequently suffers pain, like the one mentioned above, he might be forced to stop performing, or even stop playing altogether. Usually, taking some time off and rebuilding your technique helps, but many players are afraid of losing touch in the meantime. It's a tough career.

Best,

Friedrich

November 21, 2006 at 05:41 PM · I find that if I start practicing when I'm really tired already, it's NO help whatsoever. My body just wants to go to bed. So, I've decided to start practicing when I'm more awake and energetic.(instead of my usual midnight practice sessions..ha) I was trying to practice scales last night, but couldn't relax. I practiced my scales for an hour...but it didn't do any good, because I was so tired. Practicing is one of my favorite pastimes..for real. I love it. But now that I'm trying to be more aware of the physical aspect of it, it's been a little difficult. I've come to the conclusion that if I can practice for an hour at a time...and have it be what I call "productive practice", then I'm better off---intead of trying to get 2 hours in at one time (my usual goal).

Buri: thanks for the "dead meat" tip. I'm going to have my sister help me out with that. It sounds interesting. (maybe I'll get her to give me a massage while she's at it...although, knowing her, she'd charge me a couple dollars.:)

Thanks. Ann

November 21, 2006 at 08:52 PM · Greetings,

sounds to me a little like you are not tuning in to your spirit and focus too well. if one 'decides to practice scales " it has such a horrible ring of unpleasnat ness to it. All those years of subliminal input abiout how scales are boring but -good for us- (which they are).

When you are tired (which is somwhat psychological anyway- wouldn't you get perky if Brad Pitt rang you for a date?)Why not just pick up the violin and play a little music that suits your mood.

See where it takes you.

Ceers,

Buri

November 21, 2006 at 11:22 PM · Ha. Brad Pitt?...Funny, 'cause I'd probably rather practice scales. :) just kidding.

I get your point. I'll think on it. ~Ann

November 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM · Greetings,

the spirit is willing but the Flesch weak?

Ogh well, perhaps he should change his name to Arm Pitt.

Interesting thing though. You said :

>I'm working on the left arm too. My hand and fingers are feeling really good. It's somewhere by my left shoulderblade that is feeling pain at times. I'm not sure where exactly (and that's my problem).

In terms of Alexander Technique you and Al are actually endgaining here. That is you are trying to focus on the end result, wishing for a world in which such a percived condition did not exist. But actually this is only a smalle rpatter within a larger pattern of misuse of the self. It is by adressing the larger pattern that one returns to good use of the self.

Cheer,s

Buri

November 22, 2006 at 02:01 AM · So you are saying focus on larger musle groups down to things like left arm Buri?

November 22, 2006 at 03:13 AM · Greetings.

Not really. The overall organizing scheme is `Primary Control` and that does not involve playing with muscles. The Alexander Teaching is using his/her hands to show you how to inhibit a habitual head drop that is crushing the spine. It is easy to write about but generally only comes on like a lightbulb for the client after about ten lessons.

But AT is also about `inhibition` blockign `endgaining.` These buzzword sare a bit of a pain but fortunately there aren`t many in AT. Inhibition does not mean `not doing something` so much as not making the wish that creates the action in the first place. Thus your idea that you are striving for may be somethilikea nice intense vibrato on the g string. That is your wish you are endgaining for. Since AT asusme that mind , body and spirit are the same thing, (the reason why thos ewords are not use, Alexander only talke dabout the `self` which incorporates all three except all three don`t exist anyway ;)) you may be doing all manner of things the moment you pick the violin up. Probably you are losing your primary control tuckign ypour violin under the chin (many/most players do) then you have this desrie to get this great vibrato like Oistrakh and you think you need to get your arm further under follwoing all those nice exericses in Basics, plus all the trauma from injury which at some level you may be fighting blah blah.

What AT asks you to do is , like a child, inhibit the wish to vibrate compeltely. Forget your desire to do that.

Get the primary control form the teacher and then find a completley new wish which can cut a new groove. What that new directive might be is way to individual for me to speculate on here. The PC is the starrt point anyway.

Cheers,

buri

November 22, 2006 at 03:28 AM · I hear you... Nonetheless, you may agree that the principles of Alexander can be beneficial in just understanding a few things.

First, finding tension points. Next, Seeing the flowing machines around the instrument in a relaxed yet controlled manner, and so forth. And finally, learning to 'dance' through the music in the spirit of breathing, focus, and flow.

Basically, I think the technique is not so unknown for people who understand kinesiology and so forth, and have an image of relaxing muscles in their mind.

Anyway, it seems to be working for me.

al

November 22, 2006 at 04:12 AM · Greetings,

Al,

>hear you... Nonetheless, you may agree that the principles of Alexander can be beneficial in just understanding a few things.

Yes. But it depends which principles you are referring to. There isn`t actually that much to it. It just has to be transmitted by the teachers hands. What I have a feeling you are doing here is making your own set of principles or defintiions of AT. Nothing wrong with that of course;)

>First, finding tension points.

Yes, if you mean learning AT from a teacher who points out where you are holding, more by use of the hands than verbally. Again, you may be using language to go down a differnet path. AT is not about `finding tension points.` I can do that with a good massage. It is about good use of the body. Nothing mor eor less.

>Next, Seeing the flowing machines around the instrument in a relaxed yet controlled manner, and so forth. And finally, learning to 'dance' through the music in the spirit of breathing, focus, and flow.

Your imagery is fantastic, very cool! But, again this kind of language says litlte about what you are doing with AT. In particualr traditional AT pays no attention whatsoever to breathing. If your primary control is good, if your use is good then breathing takes care of itself -always-. Again By arbitraily selecting words to represent how you wnat to feel about playing the violin I think you are not really getting into what AT is or how it works.

>Basically, I think the technique is not so unknown for people who understand kinesiology and so forth,

Actually that is only true if they have studied AT. In fatc such people very often have such preconceptions about the body they have more trouble coming back to good use of the self than a lay person. To give you an example, a fine violinist I knew went to an Olympic trainer to find out how she was and wasn`t using muscles to play. He pointed out that she was slighly raising and contracting her traps (very common in playing) and that the simplest way to bypass that is to contract the rhomboids. He provided a machine to do this and she used the feedback to learn how to `contract the rhomboids to keep the traps relaxed.` using the bio feedback method. She felt this was great because the kinesiologist in question was an Olympic coach advisor. The player claimed this was the same as AT although she had never done it. I said not and took it to my AT teacher who spelled it out as I should have realized immediately. AT is radically differnt from -every other- means of working on the body simply because it involves =non=doing. What could be simpler than -not- raising the traps intea dof raising them?

That person wa ssubstituing one set of effort to bypass another which might get the effect she wnated in the short term but was unnecessary and ineffecient and and would mitigate against good use of the whole organism. I mean for heaven`s sake, does a child consciuosly contract the rhomboids in order not to actiivate the traps when going about their daily life. Not on your nelly. It`s also worth pointing out that virtually the whole field of sport condemned Mark Spitz` technique as `wrong`until he did his amazing clean sweep at the Olypics.

>and have an image of relaxing muscles in their mind.

Nothing much to do with Alexander technique unless you mean the directive, `Feel ease in the neck so the head goes forward and up and the back expands.`or similar. Sending a directive to relax a specific muscle is actually very often creating a counter force in action unless you are working very indirectly..

>Anyway, it seems to be working for me.

Good. Except that it very often occurs that what one thinks of working may be an improvement on the surface but in no way has adressed the self, or whole organism if you like. Thus it is quite possible that what you are doing is neither permanent, rapidly learnt or tension free. That is why I woudl urge you, as one of your biggest fans to persevere with AT until you experience that magic moment when your whole self does suddenly just flow. Then you will perhaps be lost for words, which is as it should be....

May the force be with you,

Buri

al

November 22, 2006 at 05:12 AM · I have no choice but to persevere Buri--I love violin... Thanks...

But the Ann was talking specifically about Alexander, which I commented on from a slightly different perspective. With this in mind I respectfully return this post to her original inquiry.

November 22, 2006 at 11:12 PM · Greetings,

>have no choice but to persevere Buri--I love violin... Thanks...

Of course. We are just trying to get you into Nirvana by the quickest possible route.

Cheers,

Buri

February 20, 2007 at 05:00 AM · Just had my 2nd AT lesson today and I’m trying to grapple with the idea that we are supported by the energy coming from the earth -- ?!

February 20, 2007 at 05:31 AM · Greetings,

mmmmm....

I often attend AT teacher training seminars by the French teacher Marie Francoix (can`t think how to spell that which means it may turn out correct). She ha s ahabit of asking very awkward questions to trainees who think they have a handle on things. She asked us what supports us when we stand up. One person replied the legs in response to which she had us stand up using our legs. We then had to contrast this with standing up with our ody supported by our heads. The former is horrible the latter is garceful and easy. The uppe r body supports the body and not vice versa. He r point was that energy flows in two directions within the body. A Swiss teacher I had a number of lessons from (Rose- Marie)explained it by asking us to vizualize a double helix in which the energy is moving simultaneously up and down. In a seminar she actually brought materials and made as construct double helixes out of card so that we could understand and feel the concept in depth.

It is interesting the way Alexander technique has began to be taught over the years. The founder himself was very anti use of language becaus it is so ambivalent. The technique is fundamentally relearning natural use of the body through the placing of highly trained hands on you in such a way as the primary control (head neck back relationship) organizes what you do. Over time one learns to consciously use the self well. Alexander uses the word self becuas e he made no distinction between mind/body/and spirit. They are all onew thing and cannot be separated. An example of where language has created a misconception of what we are with terrible consequences.

I wonder if the philosphe r in you brought out the complex verbal explanations in such a short time?

In my opinion, the clearest and cheapest guide on the subject is by Jeremy Chance and is called `The Principles of Alexander Technique` It is available from Amazon. (Jeremy Chance is recognized as one of the world`s leading teahcers in AT)

Cheers,

Burp

February 20, 2007 at 05:54 AM · Buri,

You are amazing, as always! The philosopher in me has been really giving me a lot of troubles over the years but I'm working on it, despite the fact that I think it's quite a bless to have this disposition in most cases:^) I've got a couple of AT books and the one that you mentioned is on its way, but my TA teacher tells me not to read any book yet for the similar reason you stated. I should just get the physical feel for it first before getting to the language, but I'm also asked to think about a lot of things (such as the bones are expanding away from my body and that the energy is gathering under my feet and supporting me, etc.) So it's a thinking thing after all and I'm used to think with workds -- so I'm a bit torn. But your explanation makes a lot of sense. Much appreciated.

February 20, 2007 at 05:59 AM · I got this link ( I think from a previous posting on this site) http://www.alexandercenter.com/pa/stringsiii.html

Very informative... That engery from the earth thing is gravity...

February 20, 2007 at 06:14 AM · Wow, Mendy,thanks for the link!

April 4, 2007 at 03:45 AM · Buri,

I'm so glad to see you back! Could you please explain the follow comment you made earlier on this thread:

"That is why I woudl urge you, as one of your biggest fans to persevere with AT until you experience that magic moment when your whole self does suddenly just flow. Then you will perhaps be lost for words, which is as it should be...."

I recently had a few flow moments and then they are gone completely. I'm not looking for this feeling because I was told not to, as there's no 'right' feelings in AT but only different feelings when a student progress over time. So what does this flow moment mean, really? Will you eventually get a lot of such moments when you've achieved a high level?

April 4, 2007 at 06:04 AM · I thought I saw Buri just posted again... oh no, I'm seeing things...

April 4, 2007 at 08:37 PM · Greetings

two weeks training 150 people to teach English (minus spelling) hah!

Normal service will be resumed as soon as posisble.

Cheers,

Buri

April 4, 2007 at 10:46 PM · Buri - We need you here more.

Ihnsouk

April 4, 2007 at 10:53 PM · Greetings,

>recently had a few flow moments and then they are gone completely. I'm not looking for this feeling because I was told not to, as there's no 'right' feelings in AT but only different feelings when a student progress over time.

That is absolutely correct. If you start looking for the rush you are actually @endgaining.`

All there is is: feel the ease in your neck so thta your head goes forward and up and your back lengthens.

>So what does this flow moment mean, really? Will you eventually get a lot of such moments when you've achieved a high level?

The flow moment is when your primary control is perfetc in the moment and the body functions as it was designed to do. When we see someone performing an activity with this working it is profoundly beautiful. Heifetz, Sebatian Coe, Michael Jordan, Fontaine, Bruce lee, Starker, Rubenstein etc.

Yes, you find it more and more the more you are willing to make mistakes and stop and consciously work on primary control a sa precursor to what you are doing in a given moment.It doies become somewhat automatic over time.

Cheers,

Buri

April 5, 2007 at 04:03 AM · Wow, Buri IS back, how about that?!!

Thanks a lot Buri and come back again soon -- er, I'm endgaining now? but a good one :)

April 5, 2007 at 11:08 PM · Greetings,

I don`t constitute an endgain. More of a loose end.

Cheers,

Buri

April 6, 2007 at 01:40 AM · I did AT first of all in NYC with Pearl Ausabel in NYC, then later in NC with a person who I thought was even better. I cannot describe why it helped specifically, but can only say it really helped because I became able to realize when I was tense and how to release the tension.

April 6, 2007 at 08:00 AM · Bruce,

I feel the same way -- can't describe why it helps so much but it really does. This is a very strange thing for me because I'm the kind of person always look for things that are 'clear and distinct' if I were to pursue them serious, and I usually do get that quality of perception, so to speak. With AT, it feels like I’m working with something beyond my perceptual apparatus. Being a natural skeptic, I often wondered, if my perception (both in terms of thinking and feeling) is faulty due to years of misuse, then the feedback I get shouldn’t be reliable either. But beyond the perception and in the absence of double blind test, how can I tell if I’m improving? On the other hand, I’m convinced that my sciatic pain has gone completely and I’m better at handling stressful situations now than ever since I’ve been doing AT. Could these all be illusions? Well, maybe, but then here is the problem of skepticism -- it only leads one so far but provides with no solution. One can remain skeptical, laugh and do nothing. I chose to suspend judgment in this case and keep mind and body open. This has brought me the type of joy that I didn’t experience before and can’t explain either. What more can one ask for in life?

p.s. To me, doing AT is a bit like having a great violin teacher who doesn’t speak my language, but he has all the weird ideas that I never know existed in violin-playing. Somehow, I learn and benefit from it. I suspect it has something to do with so called the power of intention or transparency of the mind.

Ok, no more verbal nonsense yixi, Buri is watching!

Buri,

Can you recommend some AT books please please??

April 6, 2007 at 04:33 AM · Greetings,

the number one book for clera background I think you already ordered: Jeremy Chance Principles of Alexander Technique.

Try the Barbara Conable website and the book she and her husband wrote that expands AT by the use of body mapping.

There is quite a complex book whihc I can`t recall at the moment but will find for you later.

There are good web sites if you hunt around.

At some point there is no reason not to read Alexanders books either...

Cheers,

Buri

April 6, 2007 at 07:04 AM · Buri,

I know you are swamped these days and my question is NOT urgent. Only when you have the time, let me know if I’ve missed any important ones from the following list of the books that are either already on my bookshelf or are on their way:

- The Resurrection of the Body by Edward Maisel

- Indirect Procedures by Pedro De Alcantara

- Body Learning – An Introduction to the Alexander Technique by Michael Gelb

- The Alexander Technique by Wilfred Barlow

- Principles of the Alexander Technique: The Only Introduction You'll Ever Need by Jeremy Chance;

- How to Learn the Alexander Technique: A Manual for Students by Barbara Conable;

- What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body: The Practical Application of Body Mapping & the Alexander Technique to Making Music by Barbara Conable

Happy Bunny Day!

Yixi

April 7, 2007 at 04:54 AM · Greetings,

of your list I strongly recommede dthe following:

- Indirect Procedures by Pedro De Alcantara (That`s the biggie I ha in mind above)

- The Alexander Technique by Wilfred Barlow (Great teacher but I haven`t read the book. Probaby worth every penny)

- Principles of the Alexander Technique: The Only Introduction You'll Ever Need by Jeremy Chance;

- What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body: The Practical Application of Body Mapping & the Alexander Technique to Making Music by Barbara Conable

Cheers,

Burp and bunny

April 7, 2007 at 06:21 AM · Thanks Buri. I've also just ordered a DVD called "Alexander Technique: First Lesson/Back Pain" by Jane Kosminsky and Deborah Caplan. I saw some good review and am really looking forward to it. Will report back once I get it.

Cheers.

April 7, 2007 at 04:01 PM · My AT teacher recommended this, and it is excellent in terms of extensive photographs:

The Complete Illustrated Guide to Alexander Technique by Glynn MacDonald. Published in 1998 by Barnes and Noble in England, but I picked it up on eBay for half price in like-new condition.

April 7, 2007 at 04:23 PM · Thanks Eric, I'll add it to my list.

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