The Yehudi Menuhin School
Kate Clanchy, Head, had the brilliant idea of allowing all the pupils to trial an Alexander lesson, after which students could sign up if they wished to continue. Prior to this, 22 sessions were allocated but not all were taken up, but as a result of this experiment, Angela now teaches 65 gifted young musicians between the ages of 8 - 19 years here at YMS. Lessons are mainly individual and fortnightly.
Alexander Technique has helped my a great deal and I really appreciate the relaxation Alexander's technique has given me! Alexander's technique has really helped me over the past three years (I started when I was eight) with my cello posture and my general body position (e.g.my Back being straighter, and putting my weight travelling in my body etc.) and I can really play cello with a lot less pain now. I really enjoy Alexander's Technique and I think it's suitable for anybody any age who has any aches or pains or anything like that! (Laura, 11 years old)
Alexander Technique has always been a part of YMS since the very beginnings of the School. Yehudi Menuhin himself was a huge advocate and, recognising the many benefits it offered, felt it was important to offer it as part of the curriculum.
‘Flexibility is all because it leads to all,
Without it, there is in handling the violin no expressing subtlety;
and strength in art can be gained only through subtlety...
Mastery of artistic expression, fluid, rapid, sensitive,
demands an appreciation of minute subtleties...
Such an appreciation comes only from listening to,
loving and playing music with all one’s heart
-and with a relaxed body’
Angela finds it an absolute pleasure to teach committed and engaged young musicians to care for themselves well. It is important to retain a sense of self in this very busy and demanding environment, and learn how to manage the pressures that come with being a gifted young musician - performing regularly in concerts, recordings and tours, and entering internationalcompetitions- all alongside their many other musical and academic commitments. A balanced and coordinated individual can thrive in this environment, and Alexander Technique offers simple ways of accessing a more natural state, achieving peak performance, and realising the full potential of each student without strain or injury.
I have found my few weeks of Alexander technique very helpful so far. It has improved my posture immensely for playing my instrument. And has gotten me to think a lot about my posture in general whenever I'm doing something (Martin, 17 years old)
Alexander technique has helped me in a lot of ways such as relaxation during performing and practice, as well as mindfulness. I also love how relaxed and weightless I feel after the lying guided meditation. Angela also lets me express how I feel about my playing and helps me to feel more confident and content with it. It's a type of therapy for me. (Viviane 18 years old)