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All musicians strive for freedom from excess tension. A lucky few are born with it, and the vast majority work hard to find it. However, the determination to "untense" oneself rarely leads to what Yehudi Menuhin calls "the way of inner happiness and enhanced capacity" - that is, effortless connection with oneีs vce, body or instrument.
The Alexander Technique is a boon to musicians looking for the "way." It is a method of learning self-awareness of the whole being, rather than a technique for teaching specific body parts to perform specific functions. Habits of contractive muscular overwork are shed, and are replaced by new habits which promote muscular length and appropriate flexibility.
Musicians who study the Alexander Technique report reduced pain and much more. As unconscious excess tension subsides, musicianship is honed and musicality flourishes. Deep structural support within the body, coupled with relearning a free, natural breath, result in a greater sense of core power. By accessing freedom as well as control, a performer can reach of level of creative subtlety and joyful expression that previously could only have been imagined.
Alexander Technique is part of the curriculum at a large number of music conservatories in the United States and abroad. Some of the institutions featuring certified teachers include Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), Julliard School of Music, the London Academy of Music and the Dramatic Arts, the New England Conservatory of Music, Royal College of Music (London), and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, plus countless colleges and universities.
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