The degree of interest shown in the Alexander Technique at major conservatories and music colleges world-wide is a clear indication that young musicians have a need for practical instruction in the basic co-ordination skills necessary to play an instrument without causing oneself discomfort or injury. By the time many young musicians reach college age, faulty habits have already become deep -rooted, laying a foundation for physical deterioration– often in direct proportion to the amount of time spent with their instruments.
Playing a musical instrument involves the ability to co/ordinate thought, movement and expression. Basic postural and co/ordination problems can easily be overlooked in the attempt to succeed musically. A pattern of unnecessary muscular tension repeated, day after day, year after year may lead to health problems due to personal misuse.
The unique contribution we can make as Alexander teachers is by employing our special ‘hands on’ teaching skills indispensable for the prevention of misuse and development of personal growth.
We often introduce the Alexander Technique to music students by saying that, during their time at music college, they ought to discover and develop easier, more enjoyable, ways of playing / that they should aim to end their practice sessions feeling refreshed and invigorated, rather than tired and worn down by the stresses of mental concentration and accumulated muscular tension.
Tessa Marwick and Paul Versteeg