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Alexander Technique - BodySmarts for Musicians

Indian Hill Music is pleased to offer lessons in Alexander Technique by certified teacher David Behrstock, Ed. M.

Alexander TechniqueThe Alexander Technique is taught at the most prestigious music conservatories around the world. An integral part of musical training for children and adults, it can greatly enhance the ease and enjoyment of playing, prevent or address pain and stiffness, and improve the quality and expressiveness of a musician's sound. Alexander Technique lessons can also address many aspects of musicianship by teaching the fundamental organization of mind and movement, which is critical for effective musical performance.

The Alexander Technique is deceptively simple. By learning how to release excess tension, your movement becomes freer, smoother, faster, more expressive and coordinated. In so doing, your thoughts become clearer and you are more able to coordinate the complex array of thoughts, emotions, movements, and relationships which are required when playing music or singing. Musicians will find that not only does their sound get better, but their experience of playing becomes deeper, more joyful and emotionally expressive. David has been very successful helping musicians deal with body oriented playing issues related to injuries, repetitive stress, and performance anxiety.

Beyond helping a musician develop more fluid, expressive and dynamic sound, David emphasizes the three broad types of issues that the Alexander Technique can help with:

Repetitive stress

By some accounts, over 50 - 75% of professional musicians experience recurrent pain or stiffness associated with playing. Many musical careers have been cut short by repetitive stress injuries. The Alexander Technique is a powerful tool to relieve, resolve or prevent such pain. The player learns proper mechanics and efficient movement. David has helped musicians from 7 to 70 years old and at all levels from beginner to professional relieve pain associated with playing music.

Performance skills and musicality

Since all sound is initiated by movement, the quality of your movement directly affects the quality of sound produced, whether initiated through the voice, airway, fingers, arms or feet. As you learn to release unnecessary tension, what remains is greater control and subtlety of sound enriching dynamics, tone and emotional expression. Alexander students find their thoughts become more clear, and their musical intention is sharpened. Music requires tremendous coordination between mind and movement and the Alexander Technique is a powerful tool in learning to carry out the complexity of thoughts and actions required in music making.

Performing music also involves the simultaneous coordination of a number of vital relationships on top of the technical execution of the notes. The musician is at once managing their relationship to the music, the other players and the audience. David includes a variety of approaches drawn from theater that can be equally helpful for musicians wanting to improve the quality of public performance. The Alexander Technique can be a vital tool in learning to go beyond musical execution, to develop more alive, vibrant and expressive performance.

Performance anxiety

Many musicians have some level of performance anxiety. A moderate amount of "nerves" can enhance playing, making one alert and energized. However, many musicians have a level of anxiety that interferes with their playing. For some, it is so stressful that they stop playing. The Alexander Technique can interrupt the anxiety response by teaching musicians to focus and direct their attention toward the music and away from the causes of anxiety. Many musicians have eliminated or learned to manage even severe "stage fright," and found that playing in front of people becomes more enjoyable, fluid and effective.

Schedule an initial consultation and find out how the Alexander Technique can help you become a better musician! Call (978) 486-9524 (press 0).

About our instructor: David Behrstock, Ed.M. (Harvard University), is a certified teacher of Alexander Technique who trained under master teacher Tommy Thompson. He has been teaching the Alexander Technique to amateur and professional musicians, actors, and other performers for over 10 years. A trained actor and stage director, David infuses his lessons with techniques and learnings from his training in movement, theater, and martial arts. He has also been a classroom teacher, a visiting artist in schools, and has taught at the University of New Mexico and Framingham State University. In addition to individual coaching, David works with professional ensembles, helping them perform as a cohesive, unified whole.

Alexander Technique Workshops: BodySmarts for Musicians

See how the Alexander Technique can help you develop as a musician! How? Most musicians know that they are sometimes overworking while they play. Lessons in the Alexander Technique can help you hold less tension in your body so you can:

• Develop balanced, relaxed posture and movement so critical to good musicianship
• Learn to dissolve chronic pain or stiffness
• Become more comfortable playing in front of an audience
• Improve emotional expressiveness, and rhythmic sense

Open to instrumentalists and vocalists: young beginners and intermediate players, as well as professional musicians.

(Workshops & classes scheduled at various times during the year. Contact the office for more information.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Indian Hill Music School reserves the right at any time to cancel a class due to insufficient enrollment. We will make every effort to hold all classes offered. In the case of a cancellation, those affected will be notified as soon as possible and a full refund will be issued if another suitable class is not available.

Non-Discrimination Policy: Indian Hill Music does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, or any other category protected under applicable law in its admissions, education programs, activities, or employment policies.

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