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Andrew McCann teaches private Alexander Technique lessons in his home studio in Andersonville, on the north-side of Chicago, and introductory classes at the Andersonville String Academy. He is a professional violinist and a focus of his Alexander teaching is working with artists to practice and perform with greater ease, mastery, and without pain. As a part of his work with violinists and violists, he addresses the link between poor habits of playing and the ergonomics of violin/viola chin rests and shoulder rests.

I started studying the Alexander Technique after suffering with tendinitis in my right wrist and elbow for months. I play the violin as my hobby and spend many hours a day on the computer. Typing, violin, and everyday activities had become very difficult and painful, and conventional therapies had not helped. After only a few sessions I noticed a reduction in pain, and an increased sense of balance and coordination, despite the fact that we never focused our work on the joints affected. I was able to stop taking anti-inflammatory and pain medications. I think Andrew has a unique sense of the principles that relate the mind to the body, and he approaches his work with good humor, enthusiasm and a scientific curiosity for figuring out what works best for each of his students.
— Linda Suriyakham, Ph.D. Stonington Psychology, LLC

Andrew has been an AmSAT-certified teacher of the Alexander Technique since 2003. He has taught workshops and classes at the University of Chicago, 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 Tainan, Taiwan. In 2014 & 2015, he ran the Alexander Technique program for the Music in the Mountains Conservatory, a festival for high school and college age musicians. 

Andrew gets it. His use of the Alexander Technique to improve my overall approach to the instrument is simply brilliant. He had an immediate grasp of the unique problems with my chin rest and shoulder pad set-up, and we worked together to find a more efficient system. I’m thrilled with how much easier it is to play.
— Dave Belden, Violinist & Actor, Chicago Sinfonietta
The Alexander Technique is brilliant! After having shoulder, neck and upper body pain for years, my pain was gone in weeks. Lessons with Andrew really gave me a lot of insight and perspective in how I use my back.
— Sharon Yeary

Andrew holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory, where he was a violin student of Gregory Fulkerson and graduated with highest honors in History. He studied privately for two years with Jorja Fleezanis, then concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, before pursuing a masters degree in violin performance with Sherban Lupu at the University of Illinois.

Andrew trained as an Alexander teacher with Joan and Alex Murray at the Alexander Technique Center Urbana. While he specializes in working with musicians, the Alexander Technique truly is for anyone: Andrew has worked with performers of all kinds, as well as neuroscientists, psychologists and doctors, librarians, graphic designers and IT specialists, market traders and not-for-profit policy wonks, and once, a nun. They all shared an interest in learning to move with greater ease, take charge of their health, and perform at their best.

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 on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Andrew on the Body Learning Podcast

In this conversation with Robert Rickover on his podcast, Body Learning, Andrew talks about his first experience studying the Alexander Technique. He talks about why he took Alexander lessons in the first place, what he learned in those lessons, especially how they helped his violin playing, and the ways in which those early lessons still influence his teaching a decade-and-a-half later.