Sunday, April 22, 2007

AT 4/20

AT stands for Alexander Technique. I've been studying it for 4 years, as a complement to my cello technical overhaul that began at the same time. And this week it occurs to me that it is about time that I jot down memorable points from my lessons, on the theory that if I keep the points in mind (conscious) I may need to be reminded of them a little less frequently before I manage to physically incorporate them.

My reminder this week was to think of every position as a balancing act among the various points of contact between me and my supporting structures. For instance, when playing the cello, contacts include both feet on the floor, both upper thighs on the chair, both "sitting bones" on the chair, left hand on the cello neck, right hand on the bow, left knee on the cello bout, right knee +/-, and chest against the cello.

One of my most deleterious tendencies is to pull away from whatever I touch, and the added tension keeps me from playing freely. So this reminds me to rotate my attention around all of my points of contact, asking if I can do less myself and give more of my weight to my supporting structures.


Anonymous said...

The Alexander Technique has been a huge help to me in my playing over the past few years. The site is worth checking out:

Gottagopractice said...

Hi anonymous, introduce yourself sometime. Would love to chat with another cellist + ATer.