Eli Heifetz - his unique way in teaching Alexander Technique for musicians
My musical background includes being a first clarinetist at the Israeli Chamber Orchestra for the last 40 years, soloist with various orchestras , chamber music player, and a teacher of clarinet at the music academies in Israel. This background has given me the extensive knowledge that is needed in order to really understand the problems and difficulties that performing artists cope with.
I was trained in the Alexander Technique training course in 1971 and teach it since then.
I have focused my Alexander Technique work specifically with players, singers and conductors in order to provide them with an exact answer to their problems. The lessons combine purely technical work on one hand, and working with the instrument, voice or conducting on the other hand
In due course, my students and I, were able to see positive influence of the technique on the quality of the performance. Pains were gone, the playing was much more flowing, the sentences has become longer, breathing has become more effective, and the pure joy of playing music has taken over the performers.
I am a great believer of the good influence of the technique on performing musicians.
Alexander Technique has the ability to serve music and to increase the players’ abilities and that is why it is best to begin as soon as possible.
Alexander Technique in my musical way
I first encountered the Alexander Technique about 40 years ago, because of a functioning problem that interfered with my playing, and that had disappeared just after a few lessons. When I saw that it works splendidly, I decided to study this technique in order to teach it to my students and to other musicians that suffer from functioning disabilities that hurt their art.
I began studying Alexander Technique with some of the leading teachers in Israel,
following in 1968 half a year with P. Macdonald - London, then got my A.T. certificate
after having a supplementary course with Uri Eshet.
The Alexander Technique has served me throughout my career as a clarinet player, in the chamber orchestra as a soloist and as a member of different chamber ensembles.
This technique is one of the milestones on which my musical way has been shaped and formed, and it has the ability to contribute to a new, deep dimension to the art of performance.
My profound understanding of musical performance contributes a lot to my work with musicians.
The implementation of the technique entails facing the bad habits that we have acquired throughout the years and that are preventing us from changing them, unless we are assisted by someone who had already made his way into – “open” , “released” and “flowing”.
Belts, orthopedic mattresses, acupuncture, neck braces, pills, surgery and what next?
F.M. Alexander discovered 100 years ago, that altering patterns of behavior is the right direction in solving posture related problems (backache, stiff neck, tension in the shoulders, scoliosis, ruptured discs, migraines, fatigue and more).
Behavioral habit patterns can only be undone when one takes responsibility for the way the body is used in all everyday activities.
After having "adopted" faulty habits over the years, the Alexander Technique gradually helps us regain the ability to use our body in a natural, balanced and vital way, without relying on external apparatus. We teach people to bring themselves to expansion instead of contraction in every posture they assume. Rather than use a hanging device such as the one depicted here, the Alexander Technique deals with the process of re-education of faulty movement habits and thus guarantees continuity and long term results.