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Harpsichord – Orders of Allowance in the Alexander Technique (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Albuquerque)

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Harpsichord Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate harpsichord technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
I coined the phrase ORDERS OF ALLOWANCE. It grew out of what F. M. Alexander, the founder of the Alexander Technique, simply called ORDERS. Orders are telling your body what you want it to do. If you say out loud or in your thoughts, “My neck is free, my head leading my lengthening spine upward, as I play the harpsichord”, and if you do this enough times with faith, you will establish a new habit.
Actually, if you are sitting at the harpsichord, all you need to say before you play, and whenever you notice your neck has locked up as you’re playing is, “My neck is free, my head leading my lengthening spine upward”.
I expanded F. M. Alexander’s orders to order(s) of allowance, because I felt that order(s) of allowance was a statement that told your body what you wanted and allowed it to do it at the harpsichord with kindness. The word orders by itself connotes a demand, rather than a loving direction to do something.
In truth, we give our bodies orders all of the time, from loving to harsh. Let me explain. Every time you move an arm or a finger at the harpsichord, you have given orders of allowance to your body, if it is done with kind intentions. We live by orders to our bodies 24/7, but since they are sent so quickly, we don’t usually register the instantaneous intention and thought.
So, if you’re sitting at the harpsichord, and you bend your arms to play, the intention, thought, and lifting of the arms has come and gone so quickly, that your arms seem to bend themselves.
When you stop and consciously give an order of allowance, you have chosen to do something few harpsichord players do. Let me explain. You have truly brought to full consciousness the fact that you are always telling your body what you want from it, but like I said, you usually do it so quickly, that it seems to do itself.
In a sense it does do it to itself, because when you play the harpsichord as you’ve always played it, then whenever you do something at the harpsichord you’ve done thousands of times, you will do it the same way – consistently habitually good or habitually bad.
The genius behind Alexander’s order of allowance is to consciously tell your body what you want, and that what you order it to do consciously is something new and healing for the body. So, when you order your neck to release before you play the harpsichord, and as you repeat this order of allowance as you’re playing, then you are doing something very new in your harpsichord technique. You’re playing the harpsichord with a free neck, and this will, in a very short period of time, become a new established part of your harpsichord technique (if you remember to give this order of allowance).
Here’s why the concept of orders of allowance can be challenging for some harpsichord players. When you think the order of allowance, “My neck is free”, you are asking for a change in your body that is pretty invisible, except to an Alexander Technique teacher.
But, when you tell an arm to bend, it is very clear that your thought has a powerful effect. YOU BEND YOUR ARM! When you order your neck to release, you may not experience the release the first 30 or 40 times you send the order. But, what will happen is, if have faith in the process, you will begin to experience the releases in your neck as you continue to order it to be free, as you play the harpsichord.

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An Alexander Technique Approach to Harpsichord Technique

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Ethan Kind

AUTHOR, TRAINER "When you change old habitual movement patterns with the Alexander Technique, whether in playing a musical instrument, running, weightlifting, walking, or typing at a computer, you create an ease of body use that moves you consistently into the zone." - Ethan Kind Ethan Kind writes and is published extensively on all of the above activities. He teaches musicians, athletes, and computer operators how to stop hurting themselves, by showing them how to use their bodies with ease and coordination. He brings a unique perspective to his work, having been a musician and athlete all of his life. After training for three years at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (New York, NY), Ethan received Professional Certification credentials.

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