What You Can Learn from Watching a Great Musician


It's easy to find reasons to listen to a great musician, but not always so easy to find reasons to watch one. Arthur Rubinstein is different. Here are three reasons to be inspired when watching him at the piano.





This footage was taken in 1950, the same year this footage was taken of FM Alexander. While Rubinstein and Alexander never met, Arthur Rubinstein certainly diplays everything an Alexander student would aim for.


What to look for

1. The ease of being upright.
Being upright need not be a stiff and upright place. Being relaxed need not involve collapse.

2. Power without shortening.
Force is often found by tightening in the front of the torso and through the arms. When Rubinstein plays strongly he stays lengthened, even pushing up slightly from the chair at times.

3. You don't have to be static to have good posture.
It's easy to think of good posture as something like a statue, that is found and then maintained by staying still. This need not be the case, as Rubinstein shows as he moves while maintaining a lengthened and widened posture.

While Arthur Rubinstein seems to have displayed these skills naturally, they are something that can be learned, and this is something the Alexander Technique teaches. Many musicians (myself included) have learned to develop and apply these skills, to improve their playing and prevent playing-related injury.

We can be at ease while at our instrument. And our bodies - and our playing - will both benefit enormously.




Bradley Newman teaches the Alexander Technique in Sydney. For more information see alexandersydneywest.com.au or email Bradley on .