About Me

Joanna Greaves MSTAT BMus(Hons) LTCL GSMD PGCE

I am a teaching member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) and adhere to the Society's published Code of Professional Conduct and hold professional indemnity insurance.

I was introduced to the Alexander Technique through playing the piano. I went on a summer course with Nelly Ben-Or, a concert pianist and Alexander Teacher, and was instantly struck by how bringing my attention to the whole of me whilst playing, and specifically by releasing tensions in my neck, immediately improved the sound I was producing. I had been striving for this sound for years, and had numerous teachers point it out, but despite trying I hadn't been able TO DO anything about it. The ease with which I now found a better sound was therefore all the more striking.

I went on to study with Nelly at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and continued to apply the technique to my playing, naively believing that I didn't need it in any other aspect of my life – I was fine how I was! I then gardened for a day, digging up a hundred dandelions, and ended up in casualty with RSI symptoms and excruciating pain, which stopped me from playing the piano for months. I realised that the combination of hating the job I was doing (digging up dandelions), ignoring physical symptoms (once one arm started hurting, I just switched arms!), and focusing on “getting the job done” had caused my pain. Perhaps, I wondered, I could use the Alexander Technique to make movement, gardening and the rest of my life more pleasurable and free from pain.

I have since enjoyed innumerable benefits from the technique, including:

  • greater awareness of my use of my whole self in every activity
  • an improved anatomical accuracy of how I am made and choose to move
  • improved relationships with friends and family
    greater freedom and choices within my own life
  • vastly improved health in numerous ways
  • greater security and spontaneity in performance

I have undertaken a three-year STAT course to become an Alexander Technique teacher, training at BATTSA (Bristol Alexander Technique Teachers Association). I also teach piano, singing and the Alexander Technique at the Cheltenham Ladies College , and perform regularly as a freelance pianist and choral animateur.

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