Alexander Technique for Children and Young Musicians

Alexander Technique for children and young musicians: learn to move easily and well

Jennifer MackerrasIf you’re a parent, you want to see your children succeed. You want them to be confident, to perform easily and well in exams and performances. And you want them to be able to move freely and flexibly. It is my privilege to work with children and young people to help them achieve their potential in all these areas.

Because life happens…

Children and young people are amazing and often move with natural grace. But sometimes they suffer injuries or have experiences that cause them to not move as freely or easily as they could.

Kids might need help with any of the following issues:

  • anxiety about tests and exams
  • re-learning how to move well after injury or disease
  • moving effectively with scoliosis
  • reaching a ‘plateau’ in their musical progress that isn’t helped by normal music lessons
  • regaining confidence after sporting injury

If your child is a musician, they might need help with:

  • performance anxiety
  • exam anxiety
  • improved posture while playing
Alexander Technique can help your child to:
  • move with confidence
  • cope with exam stress
  • perform well on stage or on the sporting pitch
  • maintain their health and wellbeing while playing music

Why trust me?

I have years’ of experience working with children and young people as the Alexander Technique tutor with the RWCMD Young Actors’ Studio. I’ve also taught students from the RWCMD Young Conservatoire, and at John Cabot Academy in Bristol. Before I was an Alexander Technique performance coach, I worked in theatre-in-education, so I’ve got a lot of background in working with kids!

How I work

I want my students to get better quickly, and to be able to apply the ideas I teach whenever and wherever they choose. So I structure my sessions to encourage my clients to learn to do the Alexander Technique for themselves!

At your first appointment with me, I will meet with you and your child to discuss what you both think the problems are, and to hear about what you both would like to achieve. In that first session I give a short explanation of what I do, and give both you and your child an experience of the physical (hands-on) guidance that forms part of most Alexander Technique coaching.

I will do the following things:

  • assess your child’s current physical problems and take a history
  • find out what goals you both have
  • give you some background on what Alexander Technique is
  • let you know whether I think I will be able to help you to achieve your goals, and
  • how long it is likely to take
  • give you the opportunity to decide if you feel comfortable with me.

By the end of the first appointment, I aim to give you an assessment of my impression of how things are currently, and how long it is likely to take for me to be able to help your child. If I think you’re in the wrong place for what you want to achieve, I’ll tell you that, too! My aim is to give you an honest summary, so that you and your child can decide how you want to proceed.

If we decide to work together, I will recommend a series of appointments, initially weekly. I always recommend doing a reassessment at the end of the 6th appointment, so that we can see if you’re progressing towards your goals.

Cost:  £30 for up to 30 minutes

Over the first six appointments, I will:

  • check in with you both to see how things are progressing
  • work on specific activities that you want to improve, so that we can make them freer and easier
  • teach you both the basic principles and tools of the Alexander Technique
  • give your child small pieces of ‘homework’ that are aimed at helping you to apply Alexander Technique to your everyday life. My aim is to make it fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routines

In sessions 5 and 6 we will spend some time discussing whether you and your child feel you have progressed sufficiently, and feel confident enough to keep working independently. Often, 6 sessions is enough! If this is the case for your child, we’ll discuss options for helping you keep in touch with the ideas from my lessons. I have a newsletter, and I offer an ongoing email support service to all my students.

Of course, some problems take longer to solve than others, and I will take the time to work with your child for as long as it takes to get you to where you want to be. But I also work to help you to be able to ‘do’ the Alexander Technique for yourself. In my experience, children pick up the ideas from the lessons very quickly, and six lessons is frequently all that is needed to make substantial improvements.

Why do it now?

Kids learn fast, and they are incredibly adaptable. This is both a blessing and a curse. If your child has had an injury, they will adapt to it very quickly. But they may need help re-adapting to not being injured again. Similarly, kids pick up musical instruments and can become proficient very quickly indeed. But they may not have really spent time thinking about the best way to use their bodies in order to play the instrument. Catch the problem early, and you can avoid your child having to spend long hours, weeks or even months relearning how to play later in their musical career.

Don’t put things off. Take advantage of your child’s natural adaptability and nip any problems in the bud now. You’ve got a great tool in Alexander Technique for children, so take advantage of it!

Let’s get started.

I’m looking forward to talking to you about how we can work together to help your child reach their potential. Book a lesson today, or fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch within 24 hours.

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