AT for Musicians at Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Welcome to the Alexander Technique for Musicians Course at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.  This page is primarily for students currently enrolled in the course.  Here I will post assignments and resources just for class.  If you are interested in the  Teacher-Training Course there is another page on this website just for that!  

Let’s start with the class READING REQUIREMENTS:

All students will read The Alexander Technique for Musicians by Judith Kleinman & Peter Buckoke.

We’ll divide it into three sections for the first three journal assignments:  parts I and II; parts III and IV; parts V and VI.

Students who have taken this class before will be assigned an alternate book to read. For your journals you will write your impressions of this new book–what you are learning, what is clearer or not as clear to you, where it is leading your Alexander practice.

ASSIGNMENTS 

The first journal is due February 11, 2017.  Read Parts I and II–through page 79.

Please answer three questions from page 29.  Also provide me with your current definition of Inhibition, Primary Control and  Direction

The second journal is due March 4, 2017.  Read Parts III and IV– through page 178.

I have three areas of questions:

1. I’d like to know if the Body Mapping has been useful for you.  Is there something newly clarified in your body map? Please explain.

2.  Do you have any new perspective on breathing now? Be specific.

3. Choose one section from Voice, Vision or Balance and describe for me the way this chapter has affected you.

 

The third journal is due April 1, 2017  (Finish the book)

Please answer the question, What is good practice? I want your honest answer based on this section of the book as well as your personal experiences. I would also like to know if your practicing has changed at all since starting this course?  And, if so, how?

 

The fourth journal will be written IN CLASS on Table Day, April 13, 2017. You may hand write it or bring a laptop to class. 

 I want to know some details about how you are incorporating the AT into your daily life.  I am specifically interested in the experiments we discussed around emotions.  For example, if you’re waiting at Pavement for your coffee and running late for class, how does your emotional response manifest itself physically?  Remember in the passage I referenced from Frank Jones’ book when he was angry with A.R. and inhibited a further increase of tension in his neck etc……? Remember the discussion around ACCEPTING what you notice?  HAVING COMPASSION for what you notice……?  Let me know, in your fourth journal, what happens. Don’t be afraid to include any questions you may have also. Please watch the following video before Table Day.  It may be useful for writing your journal.

PERFECT VIDEO FOR THE FOURTH JOURNAL:

http://youtu.be/ljm0ldxgkcE

The article I mentioned in class on The Alexander Technique and Poker is linked here for your convenience.  It’s a great article written by my husband.  Enjoy!

One more link–to an article on musicians by Frank Pierce Jones: http://www.alexandercenter.com/pa/musicjonesi.html

FINAL PAPER,  due May 2nd (will be written in class)

Please tell me how you explain this work to others.  How do you describe the Alexander Technique? What are some of the principles of Alexander’s discovery? How are these principles useful to you as a musician and in your daily life?  Please tell me at least one story of how you have used this work recently. (If you haven’t “used” it tell me why you think that is.) Last question: What does support mean to you? (If you have mentioned support already in relation to the other answers, there’s no need to repeat yourself.)

Don’t worry about the length of the paper.  Just answer the questions and it will be fine. Please do take the time to get comfortable in class while you write the paper.  There are the usual stools around to sit on.  You can position a desk or music stand in front of the stool to make it easier to write/type. I will be coming around to do hands-on work as a reminder that you can take care of yourself while writing.  Have fun! And if you finish early, PLEASE complete the online course evaluation!

 

DIRECTIONS

Here is my version of Alexander’s Directions, which I will discuss in class:

Let your neck free, to the degree that it can at any given moment (this is a gentle wish– not a strong “doing”)

So that your head can rebalance itself (Your head knows where to go. It continues to move relative to what you are doing.)

So that you can connect to the rest of yourself ( I used to say “so that you can connect with your primary movement pattern,” but last semester I kept saying “the rest of yourself” and I like it for now.)

So that you can be connected to and responsive to the world around you.

So that you can sense its support!

SUMMER INTENSIVES will be held June 13-17 and 20-24, 2016.  Please refer to the Conservatory website for details: https://bostonconservatory.berklee.edu/extension-programs/alexander-summer

If you have ever wanted to submerge yourself in the study of AT, here’s your chance.  I will be teaching 2 consecutive weeks of classes which will meet Monday-Friday 9-2.   That’s 25 hours per week!  You can take one week only or both if you like.  The instruction will be activity oriented so bring your instruments or other props to apply AT to what you really do all day.  If you are interested in my teacher-training course, hours from the Summer Intensives will count toward that training. BUT YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE TRAINING TO TEACH THIS WORK TO TAKE THE SUMMER INTENSIVES. 


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