Discover the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is brilliant! After having shoulder, neck and upper body pain for years, my pain was gone in weeks. Lessons with Andrew really gave me a lot of insight and perspective in how I use my back.
— Sharon Yeary, Violinist

I teach Alexander Technique lessons and classes out of my home studio in Andersonville. 

I started studying the Alexander Technique after suffering with tendinitis in my right wrist and elbow for months. I play the violin as my hobby and spend many hours a day on the computer. Typing, violin, and everyday activities had become very difficult and painful, and conventional therapies had not helped. After only a few sessions I noticed a reduction in pain, and an increased sense of balance and coordination, despite the fact that we never focused our work on the joints affected. I was able to stop taking anti-inflammatory and pain medications. I think Andrew has a unique sense of the principles that relate the mind to the body, and he approaches his work with good humor, enthusiasm and a scientific curiosity for figuring out what works best for each of his students.
— Linda Suriyakham, Ph.D. Stonington Psychology, LLC

PRIVATE LESSONS & INTENSIVES

To schedule a private lesson or set up a series of intensives, contact me here or e-mail me at andrew@alexanderand.com.

Alexander Classes for Anyone

Small group classes are an excellent way to get an introduction to the Alexander Technique. They are small enough to receive individualized instruction and feedback while the group setting gives an opportunity to observe and learn from others. There is room for up to three participants and classes are intended for college-age and older. The class fee includes four weekly 1.5 hour classes and a 1 hour private lesson, scheduled separately.

Read more and book a class here.

Alexander & Music Classes

I also offer small group Alexander Technique classes for musicians. The classes are for up to 3 participants, college-age and older. The class fee includes four weekly 1.5 hour classes and a 1 hour private lesson, scheduled separately.

Read more and book a class here

Chin Rest Fittings for Violinists and Violists

Once a week, I am available for a chin rest/shoulder rest fitting. Learn more here or e-mail to inquire at andrew@alexanderand.com.

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.

Workshops

I am available for Alexander Technique workshops and residencies. Please inquire at andrew@alexanderand.com to learn more.


My teaching studio in Andersonville, Chicago.

My teaching studio in Andersonville, Chicago.

Alexander & You

At the heart of my Alexander Technique 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.

Andrew gets it. His use of the Alexander Technique to improve my overall approach to the instrument is simply brilliant. He had an immediate grasp of the unique problems with my chin rest and shoulder pad set-up, and we worked together to find a more efficient system. I’m thrilled with how much easier it is to play.
— Dave Belden, Violinist and Actor, Chicago Sinfonietta

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 had been plagued by severe and nearly constant shoulder pain for about four years when I was referred to Andrew by my violin teacher. After about 8 Alexander sessions, I noticed a significant improvement in my pain. I think that the key ingredient was a much greater awareness of how I was (mis)using my shoulder, which led to some small changes in positioning the violin. Andrew was also extremely helpful in shopping for a new combination of shoulder and chin rests, which has also made a big difference. Now I’m able to play pain-free, as long as I remember my Alexander lessons!
— John Crayton, Psychologist, retired

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, 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. Since 2013, I have run 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


Location:

I train in Aikido. I felt it would help my martial art because posture is balance and balance is essential to this martial art. I respect Andrew’s current abilities and the fact that he continually improves his understanding of the Alexander Technique. I think he’s a nice, decent, forthright person—he’s not going to tell you he can do something he can’t or set you up with fake expectations.
— Kay Sandacz, Assistant Director, NSIT, University of Chicago

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. 

I'm also available for small group classes once a week at the Ossia Musical Forum in the Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan Ave, in downtown Chicago.


Recent Blog Posts:


Blog Posts by Topic:

Alexander & Learning

Alexander & Learning

Alexander & Health

Alexander & Health

Alexander & Performance

Alexander & Performance

Alexander & Music

Alexander & Music


Frequently Asked Questions

How long is an Alexander Technique lesson?

An Alexander lesson is usually 45 minutes to 1 hour long.

How many lessons do I need to benefit from the Alexander Technique?

It usually takes between 20 and 30 lessons to attain lasting benefit from Alexander Technique lessons. Everyone is different. It is possible to benefit from as few as 6 to 10 lessons. Many people study the Alexander Technique for years and find the benefits only deepen with time.

How often should I come for lessons?

I encourage all of my beginning students to come as often as possible in the beginning—ideally two to three times a week. Students should come a minimum of once a week if they are to expect any lasting improvement through lessons.

What if I’m interested but can’t afford lessons?

The least expensive way to take Alexander lessons is in a small group class. I offer small group classes both in Andersonville and once a week in the Fine Arts Building downtown. For private lessons, I offer a sliding scale to help make lessons more affordable, especially for students and freelancers. 

Is the Alexander Technique just for violinists?

No. The Alexander Technique is for anyone interested in studying how they move. The Technique is, however, very helpful for violinists.

Have more questions about the Alexander Technique? Please contact me at andrew@alexanderand.com

You can also visit the F.A.Q. page on the American Society for the Alexander Technique site.