Alexander &

Spring 2018: Classes

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American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Training Institute

INSTRUCTIONAL COURSE: How Alexander Technique Can Complement Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Interdisciplinary Care Practice.

April 13, 2018, 9 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Andrew McCann will be joining Monika Gross, executive director of the Poise Project, and Rachelle P. Tsachor, professor of movement at University of Illinois-Chicago, for a morning instructional course at the Spring Meeting of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) in Chicago.

Who Should Attend: Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapist Assistants, Speech Language Pathologists, Social Workers, Counselors, Massage Therapists, Exercise & Fitness Specialists, Community Leaders and Health Program Administrators, Home Health Agency Administrators, Rehabilitation Medicine Researchers, Nurses, Physicians, including Neurologists and Movement Disorder Specialists, and other Medical and Allied Health Professionals

Course Description: Alexander technique (AT) is an educational cognitive approach to improving functional patterns of posture and movement during everyday activities. Adaptive Alexander-based programs show clients how to choose functional patterns that are thought to result in more efficient and optimal use of postural muscles. Clients learn ways to transform stressful reactions into responses that create conditions to increase potential for positive rehabilitation outcomes and long-term recovery and prevention. This helps them increase motor self-management and enhances independence, confidence, emotional resilience and overall quality of life. Training in AT principles develops and strengthens the individual’s ability to make mindful choices about how to respond to the stressors of life, whether they are psychological or physiological in origin. Research on AT training indicates high potential for long-term retention of benefits, with additional potential for an actual increase of gains over time.

This instructional course will introduce Alexander technique as a tool for patient self-management that enhances the ability of patients to be more active and skilled partners in their own care and recovery. Additionally, this course will give an overview of the research on the clinical impact of AT training on target populations, including the elderly, Parkinson’s disease, caregivers, back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis. It will give an overview of AT principles and explore the research on the mechanisms that may be linked to positive clinical outcomes.

The goal of this course is to clarify the role of the AT specialist in enhancing a patient’s ability to be a more active, skilled partner in both preventative and rehabilitative care while increasing the potential for an increase of benefits from all their care team interventions. It will identify the training of the AT specialist and their role on a rehabilitation interdisciplinary care team.

Alexander Technique Workshop for String Players at Seman Violins

April 20, 2019, 2:00–5:00 pm

Seman Violins, 4447 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL, 60076

People often say that playing the violin or viola is inherently unnatural. Just the act of holding the instrument can be uncomfortable, and pain or sometimes injury seems inevitable.

In this workshop, Alexander Technique teacher and violinist Andrew McCann will introduce participants to the knowledge and skills they need to find better comfort at the violin and viola. Topics will include:

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  • finding skeletal support and mobility for playing

  • understanding how posture and balance can enable ease and movement

  • overcoming the force of habit

  • noticing what they do, not only how things “feel”

  • how to include your whole body when practicing

The workshop will begin with a brief talk about the Alexander Technique and violin playing, followed by activities for the entire group. In the second half of the workshop, Andrew will work one-on-one with participants to demonstrate how to apply these ideas and skills in individual cases. 

Many players may find that developing better posture and movement habits will require changing their set up. We will briefly discuss the many options that exist for chin rests and shoulder rests, including customized chin rests. And we will practice some of the strategies that can help players choose a chin rest or shoulder rest that will work for them over the long run.

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Andrew McCann is an Alexander Technique teacher and professional violinist in Chicago. He specializes in helping musicians overcome pain problems. Andrew has presented workshops and residencies on the Alexander Technique at Roosevelt University, Monmouth College, Wheaton College, the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Richmond University, Florida State University, the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and directed the Alexander Technique summer program at the Music in the Mountains Festival Conservatory in 2014 & 2015. He was assistant faculty on the ATTiC, the AmSAT-certified training course in Chicago, in 2013–2014.

As a violinist, he has performed with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Matt Ulery, ensemble dal niente, Spektral Quartet, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Contempo, eighth blackbird, and the International Chamber Artists. He has appeared at the Ojai Festival of Music, in productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Writer’s Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Marriott Theater, Paramount Theater and Broadway in Chicago, and on stage with Marco Antonio Solis, Jay-Z, Mary J Blige, and on the Oprah Winfrey Show with Susan Boyle. He holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal teachers include Lee Snyder, Gregory Fulkerson, Jorja Fleezanis, and Sherban Lupu. He certified to teach the Alexander Technique with Joan and Alexander Murray at the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique in 2003.