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 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. This semester many of you are reading Body Learning by Michael Gelb.  Writing prompts for you are below the ones for the AT for Musicians book. If you are not reading the Gelb book,  please 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 Technique practice.


The first journal is due February 15, 2020.  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 15, 2020.  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 will be written IN CLASS on April 16, 2020.  You may hand write it or bring a laptop to class. Read Parts V & VI.

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?

FINAL PAPER will be written in class on April 30th and May 5th.  Please answer the following questions:

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!

For those of you reading the Michael Gelb Body Learning book:

1st journal: Choose three questions for each of the checkpoints in the Operational Ideas section of the book.  Just do the first four Operational Ideas for this journal.  Please restate the question before you answer. (pages 34, 41, 51, 58)

2nd journal: the final three Ideas (choose three questions from each of the checkpoints)–and restate the question. (pages 67, 78, 87)

3rd journal will be the same for all. Your answer will come more from your experiences this time. 

Final Paper: This is the same for all also.  But I’m happy if you would like to comment on the second half of the Gelb book.




Other tidbits:

Interesting video on how your body affects your happiness:

Here’s an article I may have mentioned in class on The Alexander Technique and Poker.  It’s a great article written by my husband.  Enjoy!

Here’s a link the article by David Gorman I have mentioned in class: The Rounder We Go, the Stucker We Get

One more link–to an article on musicians by Frank Pierce Jones:


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 17-21 and 24-28, 2019.  Please refer to the Conservatory website for details:

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-Thursday 9-2, and Friday 9-1.   That’s 24 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 IN ORDER TO TAKE THE SUMMER INTENSIVES. 

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