FREE Resources for Musicians
The vast majority of musicians learn Alexander Technique because they are seeking to prevent or alleviate playing-related injury. With that in mind, here are some free resources from practitioners I trust!
Stretching, strengthening, and mind-body awareness need to be part of our practice routines - just as much as the technical warmups we play. So some of these are Alexander Technique resources, but many are not. The most important thing is that you're including your physical and emotional wellbeing in your musical development.
Fitness, Stretching, Injury Prevention
Yoga for All Musicians offers a FREE online class every Sunday, as well as very affordable live and on-demand yoga specifically for musicians.
Denise Hopkins Yoga (YouTube). I've been practicing yoga for years, and one of my favorite lesser-known styles is called Forrest Yoga. It has a big emphasis on core strength and injury awareness, which is perfect for musicians. Denise Hopkins' 5-day yoga challenge is one of my go-tos when I feel stiff and want to do something but I'm not sure what.
Yoga with Adrienne (YouTube). A classic for a reason! Even if you've never done yoga before, or you don't consider yourself flexible, Adrienne's beginner-friendly videos are perfect for a pre- or post-practice warmup for the body.
The Body Mechanic, Inc (YouTube). is a bodyworker and educator with excellent videos on how to stretch. The nerve glides and stretches for carpal tunnel or tennis elbow are particularly relevant for musicians. Highly, highly recommend as a pre- or post-practice ritual.
Music Strong Fitness (YouTube). Angela is a flutist and certified trainer with a great library of videos on habit change, how to expand mind-body awareness, and stretches and strengthening exercises that are specific to musicians' needs. These are free, but I also recommend her instrument-specific workouts, purchasable on her website.
Austin Pancner is a trombonist and musicians health expert who does 1:1 coaching and consulting as The Functional Musician. He has a generous blog, including a few posts with guided YouTube warmups for musicians. I also recommend this video of him walking conservatory students through how to create a health-informed morning routine.
Corpsonore is yet ANOTHER musician-specific resource for supporting physical wellbeing. They have an insightful podcast and a blog chock-full of FAQs and simple exercises you can include in your practice routine, like this guided 10-minute warmup.
Emotional & Psychological Wellbeing
Classical Wellness was started by Jalayne Mitchell, a cellist who advocates for greater mental health awareness and resources in the classical music world. All of her workbooks are super affordable, and her guide to a sustainable morning routine is free.
Chelsea Tanner, Mindset Coach for Musicians has a blog, a podcast, and a whole section of her website with free resources to help you undo negative self-talk and approach practicing and performing with a healthy, confident mindset instead of getting caught on the never-ending hamster wheel of "I deserve to feel good about myself when..."
The app "Insight Timer" has some great guided meditations. I like to sort them by duration and enjoy a short, 2-5 minute breather to release unnecessary thoughts and tension before practicing.
Not for nothing, a 2006 study found that journaling for 15-minutes a day has a dramatic effect on anxiety, stress, and depression. Journaling can be a great (and free) practice as you navigate all the feelings and stress that come along with a musical life.
There is no right place, there is just a little bit more ease. - Marjorie Barstow
Constance Clare-Newman is a wonderful teacher whose blog offers a free guided Constructive Rest and a treasure-trove of "One Minute Practices." Try printing out a couple and enjoy them at random before you practice.
Gemma Williams offers monthly guided constructive rest (join her FB group), and occasionally a 10-day "challenge," all free and online.
Theodore Dimon Institute is a LONGTIME institution in the AT world. They offer phenomenal online workshops and often post their course recordings online for free. For an AT deep-dive, I recommend starting with "Basic Principles."
If you have an iPhone, the iOs app "ThinkUp" was developed by an AT teacher and it's a great way to activate your mind-body awareness while riding the bus or for a quick
Last but obviously not least, you can always join my mailing list for a regular-ish dispatch of awareness prompts, ways to work with me, and blog posts.
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