words of wisdom from F.M. Alexander

From Indirect Procedures, by Pedro De Alcantara… on end-gaming vs. the means-whereby principle – the most important step is the one you are currently performing. My Alexander Technique teacher, Martin Webster, recommended this book to me last week, and I just started reading it…. a must read for ANY musicians, especially those looking for alternative ways to minimize pain and injury.

I began the day by spending 15-20 minutes lying on the floor on my back, trying to recall the outward looking mentioned in my work with Martin (AT teacher). Then I applied heat to shoulders and mid-back.

My intention today is to work a bit on both Rip Tide and Surface Drift… remembering to focus on where I am in the learning process, rather than on the end-goal. Also, it is important today to take frequent breaks and do strengthening exercises, rather than stretching.



Pad work – 8s, rudimental exercises, sightread from Les Parks book


Rip Tide

Octaves up and down keyboard, focus on footwork (proper knee alignment); chromatic patterns in RH/LH simultaneously, set and improvised.

Reading through all – RH and LH separately, slowly at 1/4 note = 90bpm, focus on melody, and just getting the patterns back in my hands

Improvised 8th notes, hands separately at 1/4 note = 130bpm, focus on maintaining proper shoulder alignment

Lay on back, with knees up.

Read through all – hands together at 1/ 4 note = 80-120bpm; surprisingly, the eyes and hands are pretty well coordinated, even after not physically playing the piece for almost two weeks.


Worked on a ALL major problem spots, hands together and separately – 85-95bpm

Ran all (hands together) at 85bpm



Prep for PV Tassell recording sessions this week

Looked back through notes from last session, listened to songs that are inspiration for her tunes, determined instruments to bring, and contemplated the notes she gave me for the upcoming week.



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