What Students Say
Working with Bill is changing the way I practice, hear, think about and play music. Music is a listening art in which we involve our whole being. We're not just hearing musical sounds and responding, but learning to actively listen within and without of ourselves. To maximize our potential we must learn to play with a totally unified consciousness, like children who dance when they hear good music, without thought or a separation of the ego self, the music or the dance they embody.
For the longest time, playing the violin was an arduous task. As I began to get more and more serious about my commitment to practicing, I began developing shoulder and back pain as my body tried to adjust to the additional time playing. Over the months, I had accepted the pain as a sort of sacrifice to playing the violin. The Alexander Technique with Bill Plake completely changed my view, as I discovered that I didn't need to be in pain to practice my instrument. By learning to relax my muscles and ease the tension that had built up over the months, practicing became enjoyable again, as the strain it had used to place on my body seemingly disappeared after a few lessons. Even today, I use the same techniques Bill taught me to improve my posture and balance of my body. The Alexander Technique was life changing for me, not only for my violin playing, but also, for my life.
I can't say enough about Bill Plake and the Alexander Technique: As an actress/singer, the Technique has given me a new sense of vocal freedom (without restraint) and personal connection to my craft. Bill is a mentor and a teacher of the highest caliber.
Being a piano tuner I frequently find myself in physical positions that our bodies were not meant to hold for any length of time. The entire musculature of a piano tuner is frequently used in leaning over, pulling and pushing in very unnatural ways. Even when we're doing it right. I am not alone in this profession to coming home full of built up aches and pains. Especially shoulder and lower back discomfort that could last for days. But all that has changed since I started Alexander Technique lessons with Bill Plake. The muscle strain, the aches and pains, etc., have not been entirely eliminated but they are certainly way less severe. Additionally, with the very short but daily Alexander Technique resting routine, I no longer go to bed feeling all bent up. I wake up refreshed, and ready to do it again. I love my work, and now that I have incorporated Alexander Technique training into my routine I know that I will be physically, and subsequently mentally, able to continue my profession for many more years to come while avoiding many common work related repetitive stress injuries. Quite honestly, Alexander Technique training is the best health related investment I have ever made in myself. I've never felt better and more comfortable in my body. Thanks, Bill!
Bill and the Alexander Technique made it possible for me to look at things from a new, and a different point of view. I would say that I began to understand why something works for me or why it doesn't work for me. I think both my playing and my teaching have become much more efficient.
In my 25+ years as a musician, I have run into very few teachers with Bill's ability to convey information in a crystal-clear and yet highly engaging manner. Having collaborated with Bill on a mixed media educational program as well as on my own music web site, I can tell you that Bill's work has garnered highly enthusiastic praise from my readers and listeners. As an incredible musical mind, Bill's approach to music is deep and holistic. Finally, Bill is one of the most sincere and generous people you'll ever come across. If you're looking for someone to help you get to that next level in your musical development, Bill Plake is, without a doubt, the man you want in your corner.
I came to Bill Plake while researching the Alexander Technique for my graduate music degree. I'm a percussionist and wanted to take lessons applying the Technique to the drumset specifically. (Bill made special arrangements for me to use a nearby practice space with a drumset for some of our lessons, which I greatly appreciated.) Bill is extremely well-versed in applying the Alexander Technique to playing music, and facilitated many questions from me during my research. The lessons helped me isolate habits and tendencies that interfered with my playing so that I am now able to direct my efforts in a more fruitful way.
I cannot say enough about what the Alexander Technique has done for me and my well-being. Even after one lesson I learned how to listen to my body and stop my many hurtful habits of holding tension, especially in my neck and jaw. Now I hardly have any pain problems and when they do surface, I know exactly what I'm doing wrong and can remedy them immediately. I think the Alexander Technique is a must for every musician.
Bill has helped me feel so much better on a day-to-day basis. After a serious bout of bronchitis, I developed ongoing jaw and neck pain. No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to rid myself of this condition. Because I am a dancer and Pilates teacher, I have a very good sense of awareness about my body. So it was frustrating that I couldn't understand what I was doing to cause this pain.
Bill has a seeking spirit and is very passionate about sharing the Alexander Technique. His fascination with the potential of human thought and movement allows him to inspire these concepts to life through experiential exercises with his students.
I have learned so much from Bill at these fun and informative classes. The principles of the Alexander Technique make a lot of sense from a physical therapy perspective. The workshop sessions have improved my body awareness and ability to recognize and prevent habitual patterns that have been causing my back and knee pain.
Bill introduced me to the natural ease awaiting all of us in our bodies.
Words cannot express my gratitude to Bill and the skills he has empowered me with to improve the quality of my life.
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