What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique teaches whole body awareness to help you move with ease and efficiency. Throughout our lives, we create habits that interfere with the natural way our bodies are intended to move. The Alexander Technique teaches you to notice and get rid of undesired habits, allowing day-to-day activities to become easier and more enjoyable. You can apply the principles to everything you do, including sitting, walking, working at a computer, and playing an instrument or a sport.
When applying the Alexander Technique to the guitar, you learn to hold your instrument and move in ways that are more efficient and less taxing on your body. You get rid of interference patterns and release tensions that were holding you back from reaching your expressive potential. Musicians who study AT not only avoid injury and have less pain, but they also become better musicians.
More information on the Alexander Technique can be found at www.AlexanderTechnique.com.
Amy's Training in the Alexander Technique
Amy is in her fourth year of study with the Contemporary Alexander School to become a certified Alexander Technique teacher. She first discovered AT when she was in intense pain and diagnosed with carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome while in a masters program in guitar performance at California State University, Fullerton. She studied the Alexander Technique with local teachers Dory Steinmetz and Christie Johnson. AT helped Amy complete her masters program and continue to enjoy performing and teaching the guitar without pain. AT also helped enrich her ability to creatively express herself through playing music. She chose to become an Alexander Technique teacher to be a well-rounded educator to her guitar students and to bring AT to the guitar community.
Amy has completed two summer internships at the Meadowmount School of Music, where she worked with instrumentalists in private and group settings.
Alexander Technique Lessons
Amy teaches Alexander Technique lessons to musicians of all styles and ability levels. She has experience working with classical and electric guitarists, violinists, pianists, cellists, and singers. Lessons are tailored to the individual and often include:
Body mapping is education in applied anatomy - how the body is built and how we are meant to move. This is much different than learning anatomy from a text book; students learn to embody the anatomy, feeling it inside themselves and applying it to different movements and situations. This is especially useful for musicians who use their arms and hands to play an instrument. Many musicians have spent their whole career playing with a "mismap" of their arms and hands. Once they embody their true body map, their arms often feel lighter, longer, and stronger.
Sensory Awareness Exercises
Increasing sensory awareness helps musicians "feel" their body. A heightened proprioception (sensing where your body is in space) enhances your connection to your instrument and helps to easily refine technical movements. Musicians learn to sense where they are over-efforting and how to "undo" the unnecessary effort.
Table or Chair Work
Table or chair work is done lying down or sitting while the teacher uses hands-on techniques to help guide the musician through movements without straining themselves or using unnecessary tension. The musician then learns to create free and easy movements on their own.
Alexander Technique is often taught in activities. Activity lessons can include every aspect of playing music: performing, teaching, sight reading, sitting or standing with an instrument, singing, and playing difficult passages and techniques. Musicians are often surprised and how much unnecessary effort and tension they had been using, and feel a sense of freedom and inner strength once they learn to make music embodying Alexander Technique principles.
Alexander Technique lessons are one-on-one private lessons. The cost is $70 per hour lesson. Payment can be made by cash, check, Venmo, or PayPal. 48 hours notice is required to change a scheduled lesson.
Chrissie Vocal Studio
14761 Franklin Ave., Suite B
Tustin, CA 92780