September 24: Introduction to the Alexander Technique with Andrew McCann at the Andersonville String Academy

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Whatever its other benefits, the modern world is hard on our bodies. And while our activities are often stimulating to point of overstimulation, there's a repetitiveness that drills in poor habits of posture and movement. We consider it natural to develop discomfort as we age—though the age at which people complain of back, neck, arm, or wrist pain seems to get younger and younger.

The body doesn't change without the mind changing as well. When we sit all day, the body is neglected. The mind is on other things. Postures that are objectively terrible become familiar and strangely comfortable. Then when we try to change, even objective improvements feel weird. 

How do you change if you know what you're doing is bad for you, but everything else feels worse?

This class will show how the Alexander Technique brings our attention to the unconscious patterns of mind and body that shape our everyday behavior and slowly chips away at our sense of well-being. We will begin with a brief talk on the main ideas informing Alexander lessons, look at some of the scientific research behind the Alexander Technique, and then demonstrate how Alexander lessons help raise awareness and give you helpful, constructive strategies for change.

Class is intended for ages 16 and older.

10 participant limit.

Age range of participants: 16 and Older

Date: Sunday, 9/24/2017 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $20

Location: Andersonville String Academy, 4636 N Ravenswood Suite 205

How to sign up:  http://www.alexanderand.com/classes/

About the Alexander Technique:

The Alexander Technique has been taught for 100 years. There is a growing body of scientific research on its benefits. Laboratory research has determined that training in the Alexander Technique improve balance, lowers "axial-rigidity" (meaning the relative stiffness of the spine), and improves smoothness and control in initiating movement, even unusually slowed movements.

Randomized-control trials have shown that Alexander Technique lessons help with a variety of conditions. A 2002 study showed that Parkinson's Disease patients experienced improvements in posture and movement after 24 Alexander lessons. A 2008 study in the British Journal of Medicine showed that 24 Alexander Technique lessons brought an 86% reduction in days with back pain. A 2015 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated that Alexander lessons are more effective than physical therapy in reducing chronic neck pain. And a 2016 study, found that Alexander lessons reduced knee pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. 

The Alexander Technique is taught in leading performing arts programs around the world, including the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Northwestern University, DePaul, Roosevelt, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Guildhall, among many others.

About Andrew: 

Andrew McCann is an Alexander Technique teacher and professional violinist. He has been teaching the Alexander Technique privately in Andersonville, Chicago, since 2005. He has taught Alexander workshops and classes at the University of Chicago, Monmouth College, Roosevelt University, DePaul University, Wheaton College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Richmond University, Florida State University, and the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan.

Andrew trained as an Alexander Technique teacher with Joan and Alexander Murray. He has been certified by the American Society for the Alexander Technique since 2003 and holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As a violinist, Andrew has performed in productions through Broadway in Chicago, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Writer's Theater, and Victory Garden's Theater. He is a member of the festival orchestra at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA. He has appeared with the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird, along with the New Millennium Orchestra, ensemble dal ninety, International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and appeared as a backup musician with Jay-Z, Mary J Blige, and Susan Boyle.