Sessions for Non-Pianists
The first non-pianist who asked me to help him was a trombonist. I was surprised and intrigued—he was an advanced player and I didn’t know what would happen, and I told him I had no knowledge of technique for his instrument.
But right away, when I saw him leaning his whole body forward as he moved the slide forward, I sensed he’d play with more freedom if he stood upright instead—that this would better support his forward arm movements.
And wow—what a difference this made.
Then I saw that he seemed to lack awareness of how his lips felt. We worked on that too, and his sound became more clear and strong—his intentions came into focus.
When I interviewed teachers of several instruments, who had successfully retrained injured players, I discovered that a lot of the same biomechanical principles apply to all musicians. And the MDs, physical therapists, Alexander teachers, and other health professionals I interviewed, all corroborated what I had learned from these music teachers. It’s been exciting to discover that by using basic biomechanical principles, along with the other ingredients of my teaching, I can actually help these musicians play more freely.
For three decades I’ve helped players of violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, trombone, tuba, saxophone, harp, guitar, and string quartet, re-engineer their playing, often in a short series of lessons and workshops. This work is really gratifying because many of these players have gone for years feeling limited in expressing themselves through music. I’ve even helped singers open up possibilities by focusing on basic aspects of body and sound awareness, as well as on the meaning of the words they’re singing. Through our “laboratory-style” work, I help these musicians pinpoint what’s standing in the way of giving their best to an audience.
This changes not only their sound and ease of playing, but their mindset and confidence.
“Practicing the new way feels great, and my sound is so much better. And doing the Performing Beyond Fear exercise before each performance has transformed my experience of performing. I actually find myself enjoying the moment, and feeling like I can lose my ego to some extent and just give the music to the audience.”
–Felicity Corrie, cellist, alum of Cambridge University
If you’re ready to discover new possibilities in your playing by breaking free of habits that are holding you back, take the first step now, and set up a complimentary diagnostic session.
Here's more info:
These workshops will give you
- A reliable method for practicing with more ease and focus
- The ability to play with more emotional intensity yet less physical tension
- Greater access to your deepest musical potential
- Stronger stage presence
- A potent three-step technique for unlocking your communicative power and transforming stage fright into confidence.
How many workshop groups are there? What happens in them?
The Basic Group meets twice a month for 90 minutes, and each session includes 10 minutes of either mindfulness meditation, or the Performing Beyond Fear exercise, or Focusing practice – a mindfulness practice in which you explore your inner bodily experience of emotional energies. Each of these instruction 10-minute periods includes brief instruction. Following the mindfulness practice are a group discussion and a 45-minute master class with me for one of the participants. In between sessions, group members can stay in touch through a secret Facebook group, where you can share experiences and ask questions. All sessions will be recorded, so if you miss a session you can view the recording.
The Premium Group, with a maximum of 3 participants, also meets twice a month for 90 minutes, if one person plays or sings in the session, or for two hours, if two people play or sing in the session. All Premium members can also participate in the Basic Group. As with the Basic Group, mindfulness practice begins the session, followed by group discussion and a master class session with one of the participants. In these more intimate Premium Group sessions, participants each work with me at their instrument once a month, and the work and discussions can be more personal and in-depth. This group will also have its own secret Facebook group to stay connected between sessions, and all sessions will be recorded for later viewing.
What does the Basic Group cost? What will I get for that price?
The Basic Group costs $50 per month, and includes the following:
- Brief practice of mindfulness meditation, the Performing Beyond Fear exercise, and Focusing practice (brief instruction included)
- Discussion with a maximum of 12 participants, plus our faculty
- The opportunity to sometimes work with me in one of the master class sessions.
- Membership in the group’s secret Facebook group, where you can share experiences and ask questions of each other between sessions.
- Access to recordings of each session
What does the Premium Group cost? What will I get for that price?
The Premium Group costs $145 per month, and includes the following:
- Participation in the Basic Group
- The three mindfulness practices we do in the Basic Group (meditation, Performing Beyond Fear, Focusing).
- Discussion in a more intimate group with a maximum of 3 participants and myself, allowing more personal and in-depth conversation
- The opportunity to work with me at your instrument once a month
- Membership in this group’s secret Facebook group, where you can share experiences and ask each other questions between sessions
- Access to recordings of each session
How do I know which group is for me?
The Basic Group is for you if
- You’re curious to try a new approach to practicing and performing
- You’ve heard about API and would like to experience it a little
- You want the community support – both live and online – of other musicians who are willing to explore practice and performance on a new level
- You’ve already participated in API programs or lessons and would like to continue the experience.
- You like the idea of occasionally working on your playing or singing in a master class setting, or you want to learn through observing others in that setting
The Premium Group is for you if
- You’re ready to work more often and in depth with the API approach
- You like the idea of sharing personal challenges and breakthroughs with one or two other committed people with whom you can explore all the musical and emotional facets of your playing or singing
- You want to explore specific, current issues in your playing or singing in each monthly working session with your instrument
- You’re performing professionally or oriented toward that goal
- You’re a teacher of professionally-oriented performers or amateur, and you want to deepen your own understanding for their benefit as well as your own
When do the groups meet?
The Basic Group meets two Thursdays each month at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. You can join the group at any time.
Dates for early 2020 are:
January 16 and 30
February 13 and 27
March 5 and 12
April 2 and 16
The Premium Group meeting times are TBA and based upon the availability of the participants.
- The credit or debit card you use to pay for your group will be automatically billed monthly, according to the first date you use it for your payment.
- You can participate live in as many sessions as you are able to, and you may also watch the video recordings of any sessions you have paid for.
- After the first three scheduled sessions, you are responsible for each month’s payment, and sessions cannot be refunded.
- If you withdraw from your particular group (Basic or Premium) within its first three scheduled sessions, payments you have made for any sessions you have not participated in, or for which you have not already been sent the video, can be refunded.
- The deadline for withdrawing from your particular group is midnight Eastern Time on the day after the last session you have paid for.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about the workshops – including what will happen in them and which group is for you. We want everyone to feel they belong – that you’re part of our community and that you have the best possible experience.
If you feel ready to join us, we’re excited to include you.