Alexander Technique Andersonville

The Alexander Technique

Andrew McCann

Andersonville, Chicago

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Curious to try the Alexander Technique? Andrew is will be teaching introductory classes on the Alexander Technique on January 14 and 28th at the Andersonville String Academy in Ravenswood, Chicago. Classes are an hour-and-a-half and include a brief lecture and demonstration/practical work. These are general interest classes, not just for musicians! 

To learn more and book a class, click here.

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

Discover the Alexander Technique

At the heart of the Alexander Technique is the understanding that much of our suffering is unnecessary. Our everyday frustrations, discomfort, and pain arise from habits that we have developed over many years, often unintentionally. We may be aware that there is something wrong—we don't like our posture, our back aches, we have trouble finding our voice in front of an audience. But when we try to change, we run into the power of our habits to frustrate change.

This is where Alexander Technique lessons can help.

Book a Lesson

Alexander lessons help you find the patience, good humor, and persistence to identify and change your movement and posture habits for the better.

Alexander lessons are one-on-one and hands-on. In your first lessons, we will look at the simplest, everyday movements—sitting, standing, bending over, squatting, walking. As you gain ease and understanding in these fundamental actions, lessons expand to address your own unique challenges, whether playing an instrument or speaking in public, working at a computer or running.




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

Research on the Alexander Technique

There is a growing body of scientific research on the benefits of the Alexander Technique. Laboratory research has determined that training in the Alexander Technique improves balance, lowers “axial-rigidity” (meaning the relative stiffness of the musculature around the spine), and improves smoothness and control in initiating movement, even unusually slowed movements. A 2016 study of patients with knee osteoarthritis found that Alexander lessons both reduced pain and reduced co-contraction in the leg musculature during walking.

Randomized-control trials have shown that Alexander Technique lessons help with a variety of conditions. A 2002 study showed that Parkinson’s Disease patients experienced improvements in posture and movement after 24 Alexander lessons. A 2008 study in the British Journal of Medicine showed that 24 Alexander Technique lessons brought about an 86% reduction in days in pain for suffers of back pain. And a 2015 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated that Alexander Technique lessons are more effective than physical therapy in reducing chronic neck pain. 

About Andrew

Johnny Knight

Johnny Knight

I'm a professional violinist and teach the Alexander Technique privately. I have been certified by the American Society for the Alexander Technique since 2003. I live and teach in Andersonville, a north-side neighborhood in Chicago.

I have maintained a private Alexander Technique teaching practice in Chicago since 2004. I have presented Alexander Technique workshops at Monmouth College, Wheaton College, the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Richmond University, Florida State, and the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan, among others, and ran the Alexander Technique program at the Music in the Mountains Festival Conservatory, a training program for high school and college-age classical musicians, in 2014 and 2015. 

I began studying the Alexander Technique in 1999 with the violist and Alexander teacher, Carol McCullough. Carol's dissertation examined the links between the Alexander Technique and Paul Rolland's Teaching of Action in String Playing. From 2000 to 2004, I trained as an Alexander teacher with Joan and Alexander Murray at the Alexander Technique Center Urbana. Joan and Alex Murray are known for developing the Dart Procedures, an innovative process that explores developmental movement as it relates to the Alexander Technique. In 2013-2014, I was assistant faculty at the Alexander Teacher Training in Chicago (ATTiC)

Working with composer Andrew Norman at the 2014 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Photo: rr jones

Working with composer Andrew Norman at the 2014 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Photo: rr jones

As a violinist, my theater credits include Aladdin (2017) and Newsies (2014 & 2016) for Broadway in Chicago, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s productions of Sense and Sensibility (2015), Gypsy (2014), Sunday in the Park with George (2012), and Follies (2011), and Victory Gardens Theater’s Signs of Life (2013), and A Little Night Music (2012) at Writer’s Theatre.

I'm a tenured member of the Festival Orchestra at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. I have performed in a duo with Grammy-award winning and founding eighth blackbird violinist Matt Albert, including an appearance at the 2009 Ojai Music Festival. I have performed with the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Matt Ulery, ensemble dal nienteSpektral Quartet, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Contempoeighth blackbird, and the International Chamber Artists. And I have appeared as a back-up musician with Susan Boyle on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and in concert with Marco Antonio Solis, Jay-Z and Mary J Blige.

I received a Masters of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying violin performance with Sherban Lupu. I spent two years studying privately with Jorja Fleezanis, former Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. I earned my Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (history, highest honors) from Oberlin College and Conservatory, where I studied with Gregory Fulkerson. The first teacher to mention the Alexander Technique to me was my wonderful high school violin teacher, Lee Snyder, at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, PA.

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Alexander &

Alexander & is a blog about the Alexander Technique and pretty much everything.