PIANO & ALEXANDER
Dr. Bedford combines his expertise as a professor and concert pianist with certification in Alexander Technique to help musicians excel. He is one of few performing artists worldwide certified to teach the Alexander Technique.
“Bedford has always been fascinated by the movements of animals and babies and of well-coordinated people in general, as well as movements exhibited by outstanding performers,” says Bedford, a Juilliard graduate who has taught piano performance at West Chester University for more than 40 years.
He is one of the few performing artists worldwide who is also certified as an Alexander Technique teacher. That combination of skills means Bedford is trained to help musicians reach a new technical level, even reach peak performance.
Using the Alexander Technique, Bedford can bring to music students an understanding of how to “integrate to coordinate” all parts of the body so that movements become more natural, more efficient, with less stress on joints, and fewer strained muscles.
For example, in the process from sitting to standing, Bedford guides the student’s head, neck and torso to focus the student’s attention to a particular area of the body – and where it is in space – to encourage lightness, as he asks the student to match the energy he’s using. The resulting sensation is a more effortless method of standing and sitting. Bedford notes that a musician may find their hands are lighter on the keyboard and they no longer tire as easily after hours of practice.
“I created my own particular style of teaching the Alexander Technique to musicians. I teach it differently to each student, always adhering to basic principles, although each student will ultimately develop his or her own unique process.
Some Alexander Technique music students tell of almost overnight freeing up of the whole playing mechanism.