September 2022 – Alexander Technique presentation for VIU Jazz Studies program

Heather Walker is a professional musician and a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. On September 27th, 2022, she will be presenting an introduction to Alexander Technique for the Music Pedagogy class at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. This introduction will be for 3rd and 4th year students of the Jazz Studies program.

Musicians have an incredibly high injury rates, due to poor use of ourselves while practicing technically demanding and repetitive movements. Whether suffering from back pain, poor posture, stress-related symptoms, or repetitive strain injuries, the Alexander Technique can help. Students learn to notice and change these habits of imbalance, tension, and inefficient use of co-ordination and energy.

In this presentation we will cover basic ideas about the Alexander Technique including ideas around balance, fluidity, support, and co-ordination, kinaesthetic awareness, natural & efficient body design, and lying-down exercises. Students will have specific ideas to take home and work with to integrate into their life and music-making.

Heather primarily teaches the Alexander Technique through private lessons, where she will use explanation and a guiding touch to help each student rediscover poise and ease within themselves. We start by working with simple movements and positions such as sitting, walking or bending the knees, which are basic to all activity. Through experience and observation we learn how coordination works — how we each create tension and how we can prevent or release it. With this awareness we can change long-standing habits and function more efficiently. More than a simple remedy for tension and poor posture, the Alexander Technique also changes ingrained thinking patterns and clears the way for a better quality of life. It can be used by anyone.

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