“Hi Heather. I wanted to thank you for the workshops. They were incredibly helpful and informative. I look for the changes that I’m making in my posture and use of my joints every day and am constantly seeing positive improvement.” May/June 2022, small group class: Carol – piano and voice teacher
“Your presentation hit just the right note – warm and inclusive, a bit of humour, really helpful imagery and examples. The most important lightbulb moments for me were 1) that a healthy posture feels easy and balanced (I tend to “correct” strain by straining in the opposite direction); 2) small reminders (including lying down exercise) many times per day have a cumulative effect and will translate to less discomfort over time; 3) letting images “beam over” instead of straining towards them to see or interpret them better (reading scores at the piano) – the idea of receiving rather than pursuing. Thank you for the work you did with us – you probably felt rushed and crunched for time, but I found it very valuable.” May/June 2022, small group class: Rachelle – pianist and piano teacher
“I’m continuing to work on what I learned from you. I think I’m actually getting somewhere. Today we had our fiddle class and played, fairly continuously, for 45 minutes and my neck didn’t hurt at all!” April 2022: Lee – amateur violin player, came to A.T. for neck pain while playing
“We both really enjoyed the session with you and know we’ll get a lot out of it over time…with lots of thought and practice. You’re a wonderful and thoughtful instructor/facilitator.” January 2022: Audrey & Nelson – amateur fiddle and guitar players, runners, interest in good posture.
“I started out as a student of the Alexander Technique in Vancouver in 2013. When I moved to Ladysmith on Vancouver Island in 2017, my AT teacher Marta Hunter recommended Heather, and I have been her student ever since. I have learned and changed so much! I used to go to physio all the time. I had chronic foot pain, knee pain and back pain. My physiotherapist in Vancouver had a big thick file with all my various ailments and treatments in it. Now, at 60, I am virtually pain free. I’m much stronger. I carry myself differently. And I understand my body better. I continue to learn and change. I see Alexander Technique as an opportunity for lifelong learning. I come to Heather with questions about how to move better in the pool, how to jump without harm when I’m doing dancing workouts, and much, much more. She always gives me a fresh perspective, and I often experience moments of great insight. I am learning not only about my body, but about my brain and the relationship between the two. Since my mother (who will soon be 84) moved to the Island in 2020, she has been seeing Heather too. What a difference those visits and the changes Mum is implementing as a result are making in her life.”December 2021: Maggie – writer, teacher, long-term Alexander Technique student
“The workshop was tremendous. I feel like my spine is in a better position already My shoulders feel lower and more relaxed. Even this morning I feel the difference. I hope I can maintain the ‘balanced and neutral spine’. She was a very good teacher. I certainly would attend future Alexander workshops”February 2020: Workshop participant at Nanaimo Conservatory of Music
“I liked the workshop very much and learned a lot how to relax my body.
I do Yoga and meditation by myself, and I think some part of the concepts are similar.
Also I have read several books about an anatomy of the body to avoid injury from wrong exercise or stretching your body, so yesterday’s workshop made sense for me. Also it was sensational awareness to learn where exactly your head connect to your spinal column. I am interested in future Alexander Technique workshop as well.”February 2020: Workshop participant at Nanaimo Conservatory of Music
“Heather was excellent, obviously a veteran and with a lot of clout for also being a musician. I had heard about Alexander for decades but never followed it up. Which is stupid and such a waste of practicing time. I am especially mortified because my scientific training is supposed to mean that I look for mechanistic solutions – yet I was as ignorant as everyone else about those bone connections. Shame on me. The message of “efficient use of the mechanism” is fundamental. My own bible is Gyorgy Sandor’s On Playing the Piano, which breaks the literature down into a small number of basic motions and is all about using as little muscle strength as possible. So glad you brought Heather; thank you.”February 2020: Workshop participant at Nanaimo Conservatory of Music
I’m amazed at how much one lesson has already helped…I look forward to learning more.July 2019: Sarah – writer, editor, avid walker
I am making some really interesting Alexander Technique advancements. It has worked its way into my conducting, but way more interesting is my tennis yesterday. When I would be awaiting a serve to my self, I could feel myself expanding and then my strokes were freer and more relaxed. Also on the swing preparation I could feel myself unwinding up and down as my body rotated like an expanding spring…April 2019: Robert – musician, conductor, tennis player
I am so so grateful for that one session I had with you! It has changed my life and now that I am home, I am realizing there are so many things I need to change about my daily existence (including adapting some of our furniture – I’ve noticed our couches and chairs tend to lock up my hips, because they’re not high enough for me – within minutes of sitting at our kitchen chairs or the couch, my shoulder starts tingling right away!). But working on using my joints more and sinking my weight into the ground through my skeleton has made an incredible difference. Even in my feet! I normally wear orthotics most of the time, but have been enjoying being barefoot in the house these days – which has not been an option for me in a very long time!
I am ever grateful for discovering the Alexander technique and having a lesson from you! It is a wonder that more people don’t know about this…Next time I’m on the island I’ll definitely seek out another session with you – and my partner will too. He is a chronic lower back pain sufferer and is dutifully impressed with the change he has seen in his own body, based on what I have shared with him about the Technique. Thanks again.January 2018: Lisa – stay-at-home mom, banjo player/singer, outdoor enthusiast
Delighted with this introduction. Over the years I have had many Alexander lessons, lots with Miss Goldie, one of Alexander’s original assistants. It is great to see the modernization of the presentation. I know that I will benefit so much as I re-find the correct use of the body and mind. I have enjoyed experiencing all six lessons. I have found them very helpful, and hope to revisit them lots of times. Thank you Heather.December 2017: Beryl – clarinettist. Comments on video “The Healthy Clarinettist – Alexander Technique” from clarinetmastery.com
Having just sat through the 6 lessons, I have learned so much. Heather’s use of the skeleton to demonstrate different points of emphasis was very helpful. I have known about Alexander technique for about 30 years or so but always thought that it was simply a matter of eliminating poor postural habits. I need to watch the videos a few times more in order to assimilate the information properly, but, I am convinced that this will help me enormously as I have an almost permanent stiff neck and frequent headaches. I have always praised Michelle highly as a superb teacher and mentor for clarinettists, but providing a series of health related videos to prevent us from getting playing injuries; really is going the extra mile. Thank you to both of you.November 2017: Michael – clarinettist. Comments on video “The Healthy Clarinettist – Alexander Technique” from clarinetmastery.com
The images given are so helpful. I tried to remind myself when playing problematic sections in band last night and really did notice a difference. I will be practicing your techniques and hope to make them a habit that carries over to all my playing.November 2017: Margaret – clarinettist. Comments on video “The Healthy Clarinettist – Alexander Technique” from clarinetmastery.com
I had a couple of years of Alexander lessons many years ago. It all seemed rather mysterious at the time. Thanks to Heather for exceptionally clear presentation…it was a great refresher course.November 2017: Martin – clarinettist. Comments on video “The Healthy Clarinettist – Alexander Technique” from clarinetmastery.com
Great introduction! Wonderful reminder to develop a new habit not just correct something until I feel better and then go back to old ways. I carry a lot of tension and of course it is evident in my playing ability so I am REALLY looking forward to learning new concepts to correct this. Before I listen to the next video I’m off to play my clarinet and notice/discover my place of ease, becoming more aware of what my body is doing from head to toe! Can’t wait to learn more!!!
After watching video #2 I focused on how I was carrying my weight (using my muscles or letting my bone structure transfer it to the earth). EYE OPENER!! I appreciated Heather commenting on the knees. As I went about my evening I would focus on where my weight was being supported. Often I found my knees tight with my muscles working to support me and would correct it. I am at work typing this and just found my shoulders supporting me as I typed and changed that. Thanks Heather. It is a noticeable difference AND feels good.
Watched video #3 during my lunch hour and came back to work to apply the new concepts. I am now using my fingers to feel the platform (between my ears) that my head moves back and forth on. Transferring this movement to that joint rather than my neck is so good. People are looking at me a bit strange but I have a big smile on my face. The loss of pressure is very obvious even though I look like a bobble head. It really feels good! You watch, as I relax and transform with my new habits they are going to want the secret. Love these new concepts!! Thanks.October 2017: Linda – clarinettist. Comments on video “The Healthy Clarinettist – Alexander Technique” from clarinetmastery.com
When I took the Alexander Technique classes with Heather in Chicago at the convention in 2013, the results for me were amazing. I took both of her classes and also had a private session with her. As the days and weeks passed after the convention I continued to focus on the principles she taught and consistently reviewed the handouts from class. I used care to sit the correct way and stand like she taught – a more relaxed but erect posture than I expect I had prior to her instruction. For literally six months I had no back or other pain that I can recall. I found the strategies for Alexander Technique as they applied to being a piano technician extremely useful and I still want to find an instructor in my town so I can return to my pain free life! I still think about her great class!March 2017: Cheryl – Keyboard Technician, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
I’ve been singing in choirs for a number of years and have always found weekly rehearsals exhausting, coming away with back pain, a sore neck, and always slightly hoarse. I tried physiotherapy and massage therapy which both helped a lot, but offered only temporary relief, because I’d just redevelop the stiffness and tension. I learned about the Alexander Technique from an acquaintance who had studied theatre and dance years ago, and thought it might help me. It did, a lot!
Now I can sit or stand and sing in a totally relaxed and balanced way. My neck, face and throat work together without muscle grabbing, allowing my voice to soar freely. I am making huge progress with my voice lessons because I’ve learned how to keep body tension out of the way of vocal technique. My choir just did the Messiah, a very long and challenging vocal work, and for the first time I got through all the rehearsals and performance with no pain, no vocal fatigue, and energy to spare at the end.
Not only has it helped my singing, but now I move with freedom and ease through everything I do. I no longer haul myself out of chairs with a grunt, I walk farther with an easy tireless stride, and I do all my bending, lifting and housework without any back pain. I’ve acquired knowledge of my body and how to best use it that will keep me moving, singing and living with ease for many, many years.January 2017: Shawna – singer, seamstress, animal lover
What a difference you have made in my life. The ease of movement, self-awareness, and sense of grace you inspire are so natural, yet so incredible to have “re-awakened” at this point in life. Thank you for enabling the “potential” in such a professional, intuitive, yet very fun manner! December 2016: Debra – lover of cycling, swimming, fitness, classical guitar
I still use your handouts to help me… You are such an amazing teacher!
September 2015: Emily – pianist, Master’s Degree performance student, piano teacher (after being away for a year)
Excellent. Great course. Lots of think about. Heather is brilliant! I believe that she would be a great addition to another convention in the future. This was exceedingly useful. Simple to understand. It was really beneficial. I’ll definitely practice these techniques!
July 2015: Participant Comments from “Body Basics: Back” class at Piano Technician’s Congress, Denver CO
Very helpful, interesting. This helped my tension. Life changing. This was a great class, and very important as it relates to our field, and our ability to do good work over the long term. I want to study more in the future.
July 2015: Participant Comments from “Body Basics: Tune Yourself for Well-Being” class at Piano Technician’s Congress, Denver CO
Loved it! This will change how I work and live, and prolong my career. Great intro to the subject with basic movements and positions to lesson stress on the body. Unbeatable.
July 2015: Participant Comments from “Body Basics: Shoulders and Arms” class at Piano Technician’s Congress, Denver CO
The class on Alexander Technique was very good and I found it applied quite nicely to what piano technicians need to address to counteract the effects that accumulated poor body mechanics, poor posture, and repetitive motion stress have on the body.
July 2015: Glen – piano technician, fitness trainer
I really enjoyed our session yesterday. I had forgotten how good I felt after my lessons, and it has already begun to ripple over the rest of my day! I feel the release in my body when I soften my big joints… it’s pretty awesome!
April 2015: Lisa – coach, writer, pianist, with former spinal cord injury
Hi Heather. I just wanted to say thank you for teaching me. I can feel the difference in my back and neck when I re-focus with Alexander technique in mind. This is very good for me.
March 2015: Shelley – landscaper and gardener
I’ve been noticing that the Alexander Technique is helping a lot. Of course, I still have a lot of practice to do in terms of incorporation. However, the chronic pain in my upper back and neck has gone down significantly since I’ve been practicing. That is very exciting for me.
February 2015: Marian – on disability due to serious head, neck, back, injury in auto accident (comments after one single Alexander Technique session.)
I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for the tools that you’ve taught me in the last few months. I don’t think I would have been able to undertake what I did without that knowledge. What you do is amazing and I’m so fortunate to be a part of it – I tell everyone about it!
January 2015: Joanne – mom, gardener, artist
Wow Heather! My body has just felt better and better all day! I feel like the tin man, fully oiled and released from rustiness ready to learn to move! Thanks so much!
April 2014: Patricia – pianist, music teacher, choral conductor
I have really enjoyed your lessons and your teaching style…I cannot thank you enough for your patience thus far and inspiring me to better myself as a musician.
March 2014: Emily – pianist (Master’s Degree performance student), piano teacher
I attended a workshop with the BC Registered Music Teachers and was very impressed with the ideas and techniques you presented. I think further sessions for myself would be beneficial for both me and my students.
November 2013: Mila – pianist and piano teacher
I wanted to thank you so much for facilitating the workshop. It was so informative and the work is absolutely fascinating! I found myself having a great time playing with the principles you gave us on Saturday and my morning practice session for the concert was greatly changed, particularly with re-thinking the head/neck balance point. And the changes seem to be reflecting themselves in everything from sitting, standing, climbing the stairs, getting out of the car…even getting up from the toilet 🙂 !! It’s quite amazing the resounding effects. I can’t wait to learn more!
October 2013: Patricia – pianist, music teacher, choral conductor
Very helpful and very interesting. It was very enjoyable and informative…Well thought out and well presented. Wonderful! Thank you for offering this. Much needed…Great class. I am going to find an instructor in my town!
July 2013: Participants at introductory A.T. classes, Piano Technician’s Congress, Chicago, Il.
I went to Heather’s class this past June and just have to say: it was AMAZING! Highly highly HIGHLY recommended; fun, inspiring, and a truly good quality introduction to Alexander Technique (or refresher course if you already know AT.) Heather’s very good at teaching this, and you’ll feel inspired! Hope everyone goes.
July 2012: Jen – Flutist & flute teacher, to colleagues at the Conservatory of Music
Thanks again for presenting such a great workshop last week. I have some patients that I am recommending attend the next session at the end of this month. On a more personal note, I have continued to bring awareness to my C0/1, as much as possible, and good things are happening in my very battered cervical spine. Thanks for the instruction!
June 2012: Erin – Chiropractor
I really enjoyed your workshop yesterday. You were very easy to understand and you did a great job of presenting the Alexander Technique! I learned a lot from the evening and will practise relaxing and the hip hinging which will take some time for me. I also understand now why balance is so important and I learned more about proprioceptors which is where I think my problem lies. I also felt so much better being aware of my weight transfer into the ground.
June 2012: Sue – Runner
Thank you Heather. Before the course I thought I was aware of posture and how to hold myself properly through yoga or Pilates, but after learning the Alexander Technique I realize there is just so much more to explore and be mindful of. I look forward to applying many of these techniques into my piano playing.
December 2011: Brennan – Piano Student, group class participant
Learning the basics of Alexander Technique has made a big difference in how I use my body and I experience more freedom of movement in walking, washing dishes and my yoga practice. Thanks!
December 2011: Tina – Yoga student, group class participant
I found that the Alexander Technique course opened up a completely new way to think of movement – from lying down to dancing. I love how there’s so much new to think about.
December 2011: Doris – group class participant
The introductory series has been “transformational”. I am learning to move in a much more conscious manner – be more aware of unhelpful patterns – think about practical applications in my daily life. I can’t wait to learn more. Thank you for your skill, inspiration and enthusiasm.
December 2011: Pamela – Amateur harpist, group class participant