Discover the Alexander Technique
I teach Alexander Technique lessons and classes out of my home studio in Andersonville. To schedule an introductory private lesson, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starter Packs: private lessons
Jump start your Alexander Technique education!
Alexander Technique lessons address the movement and posture habits that contribute to your pain and discomfort, habits that are hard to change. The best way to start this process of change is to study intensively.
starter packs: small group work
Many people enjoy studying the Alexander Technique in small groups of two or three students. Small groups still allow for some individual attention, but students also learn from observing each other. It can also be a more affordable way to take Alexander lessons. To arrange a small group session or starter pack of sessions, please email your schedule to email@example.com.
Small group classes for musicians are scheduled at the start of each term. The next group of classes will be scheduled in January. If you'd like to be notified when class schedules are posted, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about small group classes for musicians here.
Chin rest fittings are included as part of my work with violinists and violists. Learn more here.
Scroll down to learn more about the Alexander Technique, my background, how to get to Andersonville, links to my blog, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Alexander & You
At the heart of my Alexander Technique practice is the understanding that much of our suffering is unnecessary. Our everyday frustrations, discomfort, and pain arise from habits that we have unintentionally developed over many years. With insight and practice, we can unlearn those habits and improve the quality of our life dramatically.
Most of our everyday actions are habitual, that is: unconscious and automatic. This is usually a good thing. It would be overwhelming if you had to think about every little movement when you brushed your teeth, say, or walked down the street. Our habits let us move about the world while thinking about other things.
But habits can leave us oblivious to the causes of our discomfort or pain.
It’s surprising how unconscious habits are: you may stand with enormous tension, but only feel the resulting back pain, not your overarched lower back.
You may be rounded forward as you walk, and not notice until you catch your reflection as you pass a store window.
Such habits are not only unconscious, they happen automatically. They are hard to change on your own. You try to sit with good posture or walk with grace, but find you still hold yourself in the same old way.
Your habits erode your health gradually, over time. You may not even know that it’s happening—you eventually can’t remember a time when you didn’t ache, or when sitting or moving wasn’t, at some level, uncomfortable.
This is where the Alexander Technique can help.
In an Alexander lessons, you expand your awareness, learn to attend to the quality of your posture and movement. You hone your balance and learn to take advantage of the exquisite timing of thought and action.
You rediscover true ease in motion—and learn to apply this sense of poise to everything you do.
Alexander & Me
I began studying the Alexander Technique sixteen years ago, shortly after graduating from Oberlin Conservatory as a violinist. I was drawn to study the Technique out of the hope that it would help me avoid the pain problems that I had seen afflict many of my peers. I wasn't suffering from a chronic pain condition at the time, but I had everyday aches and pains. My wrists often felt tight and my shoulder blades would spasm after a long day of practicing. My lower back often hurt. I assumed that my discomfort was a necessary part of being a musician and I was afraid it would get worse. When I moved to Minneapolis, my violin teacher, Jorja Fleezanis, recommended that I find an Alexander Technique teacher and I began studying twice a week with Carol McCullough in January, 1999.
Those early lessons with Carol opened up a whole new area of learning to me. Lessons certainly helped with discomfort and pain—I soon found myself moving with a sense of ease that I hadn't felt since childhood. But more surprisingly, I found that my lessons were improving my violin playing as well, even though these were Alexander lessons, not violin lessons. My sound was improving—I could get more power with less effort. I was finding more clarity of attention and my playing was becoming more intentional.
I decided to train as a teacher and moved to Champagne-Urbana, IL, in the fall of 2000. I entered graduate school in violin performance at the University of Illinois and trained with Joan and Alex Murray at the Alexander Technique Center Urbana. I finished the three-year training and was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher by the American Society for the Alexander Technique in 2003.
I have been teaching the Alexander Technique privately in Andersonville, Chicago, since 2005. I have taught workshops and classes at the University of Chicago, Roosevelt University, Monmouth College, DePaul University, Wheaton College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Richmond University, Florida State University, and the Tainan National University of the Arts, in Tainan, Taiwan. In 2013 & 2014, I ran the Alexander Technique program for the Music in the Mountains Conservatory, a festival for high school and college age musicians.
While I specialize in working with musicians, the Alexander Technique truly is for anyone: I have worked with performers of all kinds, as well as neuroscientists, psychologists and doctors, librarians, graphic designers and IT specialists, market traders and not-for-profit policy wonks, and once, a nun. They all shared an interest in learning to move with greater ease, take charge of their health, and perform at their best.
To learn more about me, read my bio here.
I teach in Andersonville, one of Chicago’s most beautiful north-side neighborhoods. My studio is close to Lake Shore Drive and walking distance from the Berwyn Red line stop and from the #22, #36, #50 and #92 bus routes.