Archive for May, 2020

Taking a Step Back

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Alexander Technique study requires a witnessing of our actions. When we are able to take a brief moment -a millisecond- to honestly observe our reactions, we are gifted with sight, with insight into us. It is a humbling profession. Sometimes we take a millisecond and sometimes we are afforded more time than that. Using that time to truly see ourselves so that we can truly see the world around us can bring us to profound insights, personal transformation and growth.

The current coronavirus pandemic has resulted in my being furloughed by the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Is this a gift that will allow me to take that step back to observe deeply? If I perceive it that way then it will be. I have the choice to respond to this circumstance, as I might respond to others that are less complicated. I will take that step back to see myself being myself with all the truth that shows up. Will I like what I see? I don’t know. But hopefully I’ll be back to tell you in the fall. In the meantime, my Alexander colleagues will lovingly administer this page. I’m sure you will enjoy their posts. Stay well! Take a step back…..

(Please note: this post was prepared for the Alexander Technique at Boston Conservatory at Berklee Facebook page.)

May 15, 2020 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Touch, AT, and a Pandemic


Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

This article is not about how to teach or study the Alexander Technique remotely.  This is about touch.  What it means to be touched. What it means not to be touched. I had a very interesting lesson with one of my older piano students who lives alone. She said she thinks she is practicing piano more these days because touching the piano feels so good—and it’s the only kind of touch available to her right now.  It’s the only kind of touch available to her right now. Just think about that. We are touching our computer keyboards and our phones and our remote controls—and not much more than that.

What does it mean to touch? And can we truly touch something without being touched by it?  We often say that someone’s words have touched us deeply. Or we have been so moved by an artistic performance that we say it was touching. I have observed the arts community touching us all with extraordinary performances and creative solutions to ensemble playing. But I had not considered the act of touching an instrument or equating expression with touch in that way. I am grateful to my piano student for pointing this out to me.

The Alexander Technique brings mindfulness to life.  When I play the piano I may be inclined to sense my touch in relation to the expressive nature of the piece I’m playing. But isn’t it valid to sense my touch on the computer keyboard as I write this article as well?  And might that differ from my computer touch when I am irritated by something? Doesn’t that touch get reflected in the language I choose to use?  Touch and being touched. As I touch with anger or irritation I am receiving that sentiment as well.  And with my simple observation of that experience I can choose to touch differently.  And I will be touched differently. And then I will hear my anger and see the language of my email differently. And my receipt of a new touch will end up touching others differently than if I had not been listening.

May 1, 2020 at 8:08 pm Leave a comment


May 2020

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