The RCM and the Alexander Technique
Carolyn Simon Blog
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1M ago
There are many reasons to love the Royal College of Music. These include: Its status as one of the world's greatest conservatoires Its beautiful building in the shadow of the Royal Albert Hall Its museum of musical treasures Its longstanding recognition of the value of the Alexander Technique to budding musicians (with several AT teachers on the staff)  To this list we can now add the construction of a groundbreaking Performance Laboratory. Using state-of-the-art simulation technology, the new lab will work in parallel with the AT to help students learn to manage performance anxie ..read more
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Autism and the Alexander Technique
Carolyn Simon Blog
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1y ago
In recent weeks there has been a healthy explosion of writing and broadcasting about neurodiversity in general and autism in particular. I'm looking at you, Fern Brady! And tonight I will be watching the second documentary in Chris Packham's riveting BBC2 series 'Inside Our Autistic Minds'. In my Alexander Technique teaching too there has been an increase in young students (age 15-21) who have an autistic spectrum diagnosis. In each case, they have come because of 'posture-related' pain issues linked to their hypermobility - hypermobility being a recognised co-occurrence of autism. The surpr ..read more
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Baby, it's cold outside*
Carolyn Simon Blog
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1y ago
Tonight the final episode of ‘Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof’ airs on BBC1. I’ve enjoyed watching the Dutch “Iceman” train a likeable bunch of celebrities to rise to one freezing challenge after another, in a scenic but perishingly cold location somewhere in the Italian Alps.  It may seem a far cry from the Alexander Technique, which tends to be taught in a warm, dry teaching room.  But both involve the mastery of one’s response to a stimulus (which F M Alexander called “Inhibiting” and “the control of reaction”). In episode 1 of ‘Freeze the Fear’ we see the celebrities tense up as th ..read more
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I'm falling again*
Carolyn Simon Blog
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2y ago
A friend in her early sixties has had five falls in the past four months. “I clearly don’t know where my body ends and starts as I also often end up misjudging and punching the cupboard when reaching for something or walk into the door frame. Clearly some of it is doing two things at once and rushing. Do you think the Alexander Technique would help with this?”   My answer to her was YES! The AT will: enhance body awareness and proprioception improve co-ordination (so you are less likely to shuffle or fail to lift your feet) expand your visual awareness (i.e. improved peripheral vision ..read more
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Give Life Back to Music*
Carolyn Simon Blog
by
2y ago
Alexander Technique Music Conference 2021 If you are a musician, you will be pleased to know that a wonderful new resource has become available online to help you find comfort, balance and freedom in your playing and/or singing. It's available FREE on the Alexander Technique Music Conference 2021 YouTube channel. Alexander Technique specialists at UK conservatoires and elsewhere have contributed to a series of short videos, providing practical support for musicians at all levels and covering a wide range of instruments. Click here to take a look.   Hearty congr ..read more
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Ease is more important than speed
Carolyn Simon Blog
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2y ago
How easily do you get up from a chair?  New research published in The BMJ, and reported in The Times today, suggests that slower chair risers at the age of 65 are associated with a 14% greater risk of mortality over the next 10 years. My worry is that some people will read this statistic and conclude, "I must try to get up more quickly".  But rushing to rise from a chair is likely to lead to an increase in effort and strain, when in fact the goal should be to move with greater lightness and co-ordination - exactly the qualities encouraged by the Alexander Techni ..read more
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Opening up: a special introductory offer
Carolyn Simon Blog
by
2y ago
The clematis flowers around the entrance to my teaching studio have opened out spectacularly this year - welcoming back AT students to in person lessons after months on Zoom.  Given that the Alexander Technique is famously 'hands on', it has been a revelation to discover that it CAN be taught online.  The general consensus though is that, while virtual AT lessons are better than nothing, they are not as good as 'the real thing'. To welcome newcomers to the Alexander Technique, I am offering a special introductory promotion throughout June: your first two lessons for the price of on ..read more
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Contact details ...and the return of touch
Carolyn Simon Blog
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3y ago
This morning the welcome news that hugs are coming back to care homes prompted BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour programme to explore the importance of touch.  To find out more about why we feel touch-deprived in lockdown, and why touch boosts the immune system and a sense of wellbeing, listen to Suzi Godson's succinct explanation of the science. ​ In normal times, touch and hands-on guidance are key components of learning the Alexander Technique.  While I have been pleasantly surprised how much can be conveyed in a Zoom AT session, I confess I am itching to use my highly-trained hands aga ..read more
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Celebration time
Carolyn Simon Blog
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3y ago
This month marks the 25th anniversary of my graduation as an Alexander Technique Teacher, following three years of training at CFT.  Thank you to my teachers - in this photo: Penny O'Connor, Ann Penistan and David Gorman. And thank you to my students.   The title of my thesis back in 1995 was a quotation from the legendary American baseball coach, Yogi Berra: "If there's a fork in the road, take it."  I'm glad I took it ..read more
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Sorry we've lost touch...
Carolyn Simon Blog
by
3y ago
This morning on Radio 4 Claudia Hammond revealed the results of the BBC Touch Test, the world's largest study on attitudes to touch and its significance in our daily lives. One key finding was that - even before Covid-19 - most people would like more touch than they actually receive. Alexander Technique teaching is famously 'hands on' - or at least it was, until the pandemic forced us to rise to the challenge of teaching metres apart or via Zoom. It is important, when we talk about touch, to focus on the quality as well as the quantity.  Alexander Technique teachers spend three ye ..read more
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