North Bay Alexander Technique

My Story: How I came to the Alexander Technique..and became a Teacher.

I am a Trumpet Player.

I spent roughly 20 years practicing 4-6 hours a day.

In my early 20's (near the beginning of that), I began working steadily as a musician in dance bands (which involved my standing on a band stand for 4 or more hours and loading equipment before and after work).

Somewhere along the line, my devotion to daily "stretching", which I adopted at around age 20, finally stopped helping, yet I continued to do it.

I began to have more severe low back pain around age 40.

A trusted friend suggested I look into Thomas Hanna's book "Somatics".

I liked it and tried the exercises (which were only marginally helpful to me-though I wanted them to work and gave them an honest try daily for several months).

I began reading more of Hanna's books.

(I attended a 1/2 day workshop with Hanna's wife in Novato, CA. which I didn't care for all that much-just my own personal taste.)

In the back of one of the books, I don't remember which, I read a chapter devoted to the Alexander Technique.

Hanna touted it as the "first school of body work".

He indicated that, although the process was slow, the results were lasting.

I mentioned my reading to lady I rent a living space from, who happens to be a Feldenkreis teacher and Trager worker.

She said that she would find me an Alexander Teacher if I was interested.

She gave me a phone number.

I called and set up a lesson with Darcy Elman.

Although, I didn't understand what was happening or what she wanted me to "do" in my lessons, my back pain disappeared in about 6 visits.

I traveled to Chicago for Alexander and Trumpet work with John Henes at Northwestern University after about 2 months.

I attended a week-long workshop in Malibu after about 3 months.

I continued my study with Darcy (weekly 1 hour lessons) for about an additional 3-4 months.

I began to get so much taller that I barely fit in my car after a lesson.

Darcy indicated that of any of the students she had taught, I was the most likely to become an Alexander Teacher.

At that point, she encouraged me to visit a training course and offer myself as a "body" to trainees.

I contacted several training course directors.

George was the only one who seemed open to my visit (he didn't offer any resistance to the idea).

I recall him asking how soon I would like to come.

I had this wacky idea that an Alexander Technique Training Course should be lead by someone who practiced the technique through and through (in every aspect of his life)-although I really didn't have any idea what that actually meant at that time-it was just an idea.

At any rate, I knew I was in the right place when Geroge answered the door and greeted me with a gentle smile, bright eyes, and a warm handshake.

I attended his training course for about 3 months before committing to becoming a official AmSat trainee.

My training became a 5 year process because of my college teaching schedule at the time.

I decreased the number of hours I practiced my trumpet daily as a matter of practicality because of the time commitment for the training course and travel to attend.

Over time, I began to notice gradual changes in myself.

These changes were both physical and mental.

They had an affect on my trumpet playing, physical issues, overall health, anxiety level, relationships, outlook on life, etc.

I am glad I followed my intuition and found my way to the Alexander Technique.

Now, I feel as though my life is separated into the time before I came upon it and the time after.

This is only the beginning and only a loose sketch of the details.

I hope it helps inspire you to seek out a teacher and give it a try.

Contact Information | FAQs | What is the Alexander Technique? |Can this help me? | Random Thoughts on the Alexander Technique | Background and Education | Related Sites | Studio Locations | Lesson Rates | Lesson Policies