Alexander Technique for recorder players

Do you want to give your best performance every time, without discomfort, worry or stress?

Alexander Technique for recorder players works.

Whether you play concerts, in small groups, or just for your own enjoyment, you want to play without discomfort. You want to concentrate on the music knowing that everything is fine; you want to feel energised, focused, and calm.

Sometimes, though, you can feel held back by excess tension, nerves, or just the sense that you are getting in your own way. If you’ve ever felt that

  • Nerves got in the way of your performance
  • Physical tension or discomfort is stopping you from achieving what you want technically
  • You just didn’t know the best way to prepare yourself for the audition or the gig
  • Your own ideas are getting in the way of your creativity
  • You’ve started to lose the love for your instrument, and want to get it back.

I can help you.

Jennifer Mackerras (teaches Alexander Technique in Bristol) playing recorder

My name is Jennifer, and I am a performance coach and Alexander Technique teacher. For nearly ten years I have helped performers from all disciplines to reach their potential and perform with ease and fluidity. I am Alexander Technique tutor at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and I work with both music and acting students there to help them reach their dreams. I have played recorder since I was six, and I found Alexander Technique hugely beneficial. It even got me playing again after I was injured.

For freedom in performance

Music colleges all over the world have long recognised the benefits of Alexander Technique for musicians and actors. And it’s a highly effective tool for recorder players of all levels. Studying Alexander Technique for recorder players can help you:

  • Improve your sound
  • Sharpen your concentration
  • Help you achieve technical excellence
  • Hone your rehearsal strategies
  • Clarify your thinking
  • Give fluidity to your artistic interpretation
  • Strengthen your nerve
  • Reduce unnecessary muscular tension

As a recorder player myself, I know how important it is to feel well-prepared and at ease before a performance. And as a former sufferer of stage fright, I know how debilitating it can be to feel over-tense and overwhelmed. The Alexander Technique was the tool that helped me to become a better musician. It would be my privilege to help you, too.

What I do

Unlike some coaches, I won’t load you up with loads of empty exercises that feel one-size-fits-all. Instead, I spend time listening to you, so that I can understand in detail where you feel your problems lie. Then I construct a tailor-made plan that will help you to achieve your goals. This may include breathing exercises; it may include relaxation strategies. It will definitely include tools and techniques for changing the way you think and the way you move, so that you can feel mentally and physically more ready to perform.

And because I am a recorder specialist too, you can be sure that I will teach you Alexander Technique for recorder – tailored lessons that you can then apply more generally if you wish.

“The new ‘low effort’ approach is paying off. I incorporate your ‘50% less’ philosophy as an integral part of my practice routine now and I find it very useful on short sections of music. That and the other things we spoke about has made a fundamental change to my approach to practicing the instrument which I hope will allow me to enjoy many more years of injury free playing.
Thanks again for all your good advice and help.”

Steve B., guitarist

How I work

I want my students to get better quickly, and to be able to apply the ideas I teach whenever and wherever they choose. So I structure my sessions to encourage my clients to learn to do the Alexander Technique for themselves!

At your first appointment with me, I will meet with you to discuss what you both think the problems are, and to hear about what you both would like to achieve. In that first session I give a short explanation of what I do, and give you an experience of the physical (hands-on) guidance that forms part of most Alexander Technique coaching.

Alexander Technique for recorder - Jen teaching a recorder player

I will do the following things:

  • assess your current physical problems and take a history
  • find out what goals you have
  • give you some background on what Alexander Technique is
  • let you know whether I think I will be able to help you to achieve your goals, and how long it is likely to take
  • give you the opportunity to decide if you feel comfortable with me.

By the end of the first appointment, I aim to give you an assessment of my impression of how things are currently, and how long it is likely to take for me to be able to help you. If I think you’re in the wrong place for what you want to achieve, I’ll tell you that, too! My aim is to give you an honest summary, so that you can decide how you want to proceed.

If we decide to work together, I will recommend a series of appointments, initially weekly. I always recommend doing a reassessment at the end of the 6th appointment, so that we can see if you’re progressing towards your goals.

You can either pay for each session singly, or purchase 6 sessions all up front. If you decide to go for the up-front option I will give you a discount on the sessions, and you will also receive a book worth £18 to aid your understanding and help you improve faster.

Cost:  £45 for up to 40 minutes

OR  £250 for a six lesson package plus free book.


  • check in with you to see how things are progressing
  • work on specific activities that you want to improve, so that we can make them freer and easier
  • teach you both the basic principles and tools of the Alexander Technique
  • give you small pieces of ‘homework’ that are aimed at helping you to apply Alexander Technique to your everyday life. My aim is to make it fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routines.

In sessions 5 and 6 we will spend some time discussing whether you feel you have progressed sufficiently, and feel confident enough to keep working independently. Often, 6 sessions is enough! If this is the case, we’ll discuss options for helping you keep in touch with the ideas from my lessons. I offer an ongoing email support service to all my students.
Of course, some problems take longer to solve than others, and I will take the time to work with you for as long as it takes to get you to where you want to be. But I also work to help you to be able to ‘do’ the Alexander Technique for yourself. In my experience, six lessons is frequently all that is needed to make substantial improvements.

Why do it now?

Nobody should have to put up with the constant lingering fear of whether they will be able to pursue their passion effectively. If music is your love or your profession, you should to be able to pursue it with freedom. Alexander Technique might not be the answer to your problems. But what if it is, and you’ve put off trying it? Don’t regret the wasted time. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Let’s get started.

I’m looking forward to talking to you about how we can work together.