Alex Tech News & Events

Alexander Technique News & Events

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.

For more information, go to www.soundbeingstudio.com

September 2022 – Alexander Technique workshop for BCRMTA, Parksville

Heather will be a presenting an introductory session on Alexander Technique for the B.C. Registered Music Teacher’s Association 2022 conference. This conference takes place September 16th and 17th at the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort in Parksville on beautiful Vancouver Island. The presentation is from 9 -10:30 AM and is open to any member of the public who wishes to sign up and pay for a single session.

Heather will be introducing basic ideas about the Alexander Technique, and taking participants through movements and experiments to highlight some of the principles of the technique and how to incorporate it. She will also be relating it to piano playing and teaching, as well as other demanding activities.

More information can be found here: https://soundvision2022.square.site/

May/June 2022 – Alexander Technique small group class, Mill Bay, Vancouver Island

Heather is pleased to be teaching Alexander Technique through a small group introductory class in the Cowichan Valley & Mill Bay area on Vancouver Island. The class comprises 3 sessions of 2 hours each, held on May 26th, 28th and June 2nd, 2022. This class is organized by a local professional singer and teacher of voice & piano, Eve Daniell. Eve was introduced to the Alexander Technique during her earlier voices studies in the United Kingdom, and found the technique pivotal to her musical career.

Heather Walker teaching the Alexander Technique

These small group classes will be taught to a maximum of 8 people, who are mostly piano, voice, and drama teachers. The group will be introduced to basic principles of the Alexander Technique, and taught tools, tricks and tips for exploring these ideas through movement, kinaesthetic awareness, imagery, visual clues, and verbal reminders. We will explore ideas around support, gravity, balance, body design, efficient use, awareness, stopping of habits, letting go of tension, and finding your place of most ease…among others! We will practice “constructive rest” and move through standing, walking, sitting, bending & folding, and ideas around our music making. Classes are participation and exploration based, and are a lot of fun!

If you would like to book a small group Alexander Technique class for any focus group, please be in touch with Heather Walker at 250-716-3464, or through her website, www.soundbeingstudio.com

March 2022 – Alexander Technique Group Class at Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Stress? Tension? Bad Posture? Pain & Discomfort? Direct Yourself to Wellness!

Exploring the Alexander Technique – a four week group class

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Explore the possibility of lightness and freedom of movement using the Alexander Technique. We will use practical experiments to learn how to notice tightening, release muscle tension, re-establish better balance and move more efficiently. Learn tools for recuperation from injury and pain, and prevention of unnecessary tension. Understanding the principles of the Alexander Technique helps you to expand your awareness and make better choices about how you use your body & self. Anyone can learn to recuperate from stress and prevent undue wear & tear by using less effort in daily activities.

Wear comfortable clothes for movement and lying-down work. Some visual posters and handouts will be supplied by the teacher.

Wednesdays from 3:30 – 5:00 PM, March 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd, 2022. ****POSTPONED until MAY 2022

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, 375 Selby St, Nanaimo, B.C., 250-754-4611

Small group class, 6-8 students, by reservation only

$110 total for the four week course

For more information:

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Heather Walker, Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique

250-716-3464

January 2022 – Alexander Technique for UVic “Business of Music” Class

On January 21st, 2022, Heather Walker will be presenting a virtual seminar about the Alexander Technique to the University of Victoria “Business of Music” class, MUS 310. The class is required for all music majors, and also open to students from other disciplines.

Heather is a professional musician, playing French horn in many different orchestras and music groups. She is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a century-old system for incorporating more awareness, ease, and efficiency of movement and thought into everything a person does. The Alexander Technique is particularly well known in the music world, since there is so much refined and repetitious movement in playing an instrument, and this often manifests itself into tension, repetitive strain, and injury.

For this presentation, Heather will touch on many aspects of the technique. Discussion will include:

  • The history of the Alexander Technique
  • The difference between treating a symptom, and un-learning harmful habits that are creating the problem
  • The understanding of kinaesthetic awareness and re-education to be able to change habits
  • Some of the principles of the Alexander Technique and how they are taught
  • Some basic experiments and tools to try at home
  • A better anatomical understanding of our design, especially the head, neck & back relationship

Heather is always happy to give lessons, workshops, and presentations on the Alexander Technique. Please contact her for more information at info@soundbeingstudio.com, or 250-716-3464

2021, 2022 – Alexander Technique being offered in Nanaimo with COVID safely protocols

2021 – Alexander Technique, ongoing with COVID safely protocols

The Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique was re-opened from COVID lockdowns in July 2020 and has remained open for teaching throughout 2020 and 2021. The studio has limited teaching hours and a variable schedule, so please contact Heather at 250-716-3464 for exact teaching times and any questions or concerns. Since the Alexander Technique is taught with hands-on feedback and in close quarters, the studio is currently open to fully vaccinated students only.

Alexander Technique Canada is a national not for profit organization for supporting the Alexander Technique, and is a great resource for more information. www.alexandertechniquecanada.ca

Throughout 2021, please make yourself familiar with ongoing safety procedures at the studio:

  • Please complete the online pre-screening form on the day of your appointment: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en 
  • If you are sick (fever, dry cough, tiredness) or if you have been in contact with a Covid-19 infected person, please cancel your appointment!
  • Wait in your car or outside of the clinic until your exact appointment time.
  • Disinfect your hands at our ‘hand sanitizer station’ when entering and leaving the office.
  • Wear a face mask for your own protection.
  • Don’t overstay your appointment time as we need the time to clean and disinfect for the next appointment.

July 2020 – Alexander Technique studio re-opens with COVID safety measures

July 2020 – Alexander Technique studio re-opens with COVID safety measures

As of July 2020, I am happy to announce that I will be re-opening the Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique. During the COVID pandemic we have all had to adjust and reconfigure how we will work with people in close quarters. I have missed teaching the Alexander Technique, and missed seeing how it can help change people’s habits and allow them to live their lives with more ease and efficiency. Please note that there are limited appointment times at the studio. Fridays are the main teaching day, with a few other possibilities during the week. Please inquire for more information, at 250-716-3464.

As of July 2020, please make yourself familiar with the new safety procedures at the studio:

  • Please complete the online pre-screening form on the day of your appointment: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en 
  • If you are sick (fever, dry cough, tiredness) or if you have been in contact with a Covid-19 infected person, please cancel your appointment!
  • Wait in your car or outside of the clinic until your exact appointment time.
  • Disinfect your hands at our ‘hand sanitizer station’ when entering and leaving the office. Remove shoes and leave on tray.
  • Wear a face mask for your own protection.
  • Don’t overstay your appointment time as we need the time to clean and disinfect for the next appointment.
  • As a disinfectant I use 80% Isopropyl solution.
  • The room is cleaned and disinfected.
  • Headrest, bolsters and table are covered in plastic for easy wiping/disinfecting, or cloth covers that are washed after each treatment.
  • Room is aired when disinfecting and teaching for better air flow.
  • Frequently touched surfaces are disinfected: Door handles, door frames and any other surface clients may have touched
  • The bathroom is cleaned and disinfected after each bathroom visit. Clients are asked to reduce the use of the bathroom if possible.
  • The office will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of every day.
  • All participants wear a cloth mask or face shield.
  • We wash hands and/or use a hand-sanitizer afterwards before and after the treatment. Clients are asked to use hand-sanitizers as well.
  • Clients are asked to bring their own water bottle.

April – June 2020 – Alexander Technique “pause” due to COVID restrictions

April- June 2020 – Alexander Technique “pause” due to COVID restrictions

We are in unprecedented times with the arrival of the COVID -19 pandemic in Canada and around the world. Here in British Columbia we are “physical distancing” mode as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. For those of us who teach Alexander Technique in our private studios, this means that we took a break in teaching for a few months while we figured out how to be safe in our daily lives and our professional practices.

The Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique was therefore closed from mid-March until the end of June, 2020. As a teacher of the Alexander Technique, I definitely missed helping my students find more efficiency and ease in their lives. However, this “pause” also gave me some wonderful opportunities to re-connect with the Technique and re-embody the principles into my own daily life.

One of the first principles of the Alexander Technique is that it’s about non-doing, not falling into the same habitual movement and tension patterns that we constantly repeat when we are over-engaging and too focused on an end-goal. So suddenly stopping all of our “busy-ness” gave me time to practice more constructive rest, more awareness, more letting go of habits and directing myself into a more balanced state. A good lesson for the teacher, as well as the student!

www.canstat.ca

Further, there are thousands of certified Alexander Technique teachers around the world right now, including many senior teachers and teacher trainers that have much insight and experience to offer. When the COVID shut-down started happening, more of these teachers started offering professional development sessions online, and I was able to take part in quite a number of seminars and workshops. Since many Alexander Technique teachers work solo (with their students), it was a wonderful experience to log into a seminar and see 500 other Alexander Technique teachers online from all over the world, excited to be learning more and sharing about the technique.

I also was able to catch up on a number of other activities at home, which included finishing a renovation on a workshop and the corresponding landscaping and gardening that went with it. Since the Alexander Technique is about being more in balance and at ease in everything we do, all of these activities gave me time to put the principles into action even more in my own life. It’s hard work sifting huge mountains of soil, but much easier if I do it with efficiency of movement, the least tension, and the most ergonomical and balanced way. Good practice, good fun!

Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique in Nanaimo will be re-opening in July 2020. Updates coming soon….