Your first instrument is your own body. How you use that instrument determines to a large degree how you play the piano, violin, or clarinet. The way you use your body highly affects your tone, fluidity, and control over your musical instrument.As a professional musician who spends hours with your instrument, my unique approach to the Alexander Technique can significantly enhance your professional success.
In order to play well, your upper body should be open, not constricted. The openness of the upper body is determined by the use of the legs. Whether you sit at the piano, or stand as you play the cello or the flute, your legs have to create a solid base that will support that openness. Once these essentials have been established, they will allow your arms and hands to move freely and for your breath to flow smoothly.
Most importantly, throughout this whole process you will learn how to consciously create this new presence on your own. You will experience it in your playing as mental clarity and self-assurance, as inner strength combined with ease and soft control.
This clarity will also impart new meaning to your routine and daily practice. Rather than mechanistic it will become again “playful” and lively. Most musicians I have worked with experienced marked difference in their playing within a short time.
This work proved to be invaluable to musicians who suffered from back and neck pain, from shoulder, elbow, or wrist injuries, due to incorrect use of their body.
I regard my five years of lessons with Ari as one of the most valuable things I have done for myself. Aside from resolving debilitating injuries and a chronic back condition, they had a profound effect on my piano practice. As my overall movement improved, the touch of my fingers on the piano became more subtle fluid and powerful. The physical changes were accompanied by a new level of mental clarity which freed me from the need for long hours of daily practice. I came to understand what the renowned pianist Arthur Schnabel used to say: ‘I do not practice much, I go for a walk.’ Likewise, I go for a walk; I clear the piece in my mind, I sit at the piano and within half an hour I am done.
Arthur Lambert – Prof. (Emeritus)
SDSU music Dept.