“The Alexander Technique changed the use of my voice, my attitude on stage, and in life in general. I move more freely, play the piano with more ease, and find it easier to communicate and connect with the people that I work with.” – Annika Weissman
A short introduction
Versatile and energetic: that’s definitely one way to describe Annika Weissman: singer, voice coach, conductor and teacher of the Alexander Technique (AT).
From 2007 until 2013 Annika studied jazz vocals in Amsterdam, Graz and Philadelphia. In 2019 she graduated from the three-year teacher training at the Alexander Technique Center in Amsterdam (ATCA) and is since then also working as an Alexander Technique teacher in Amsterdam and Haarlem, often combining her two passions, singing and AT.
The Alexander Technique is a practical method that works towards changing movement habits in everyday activities in order to move more freely and live more balanced and at ease. All this new knowledge and the new way of learning also influences Annika’s own artistic development as well as her work with the different pop-choirs that she is conducting in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Hilversum.
The first lesson
I first heard about the Alexander Technique (AT) during the last semester of my bachelor studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. I watched a good friend of mine, also a singer, who suddenly had changed: She looked vibrant and energetic. When I asked her what she had been doing, she told me about the Alexander Technique lessons she had been taking and she was very enthusiastic about it. I became curious and after taking a couple of lessons myself during that last semester I knew that one day I wanted to become a teacher of the AT. I was convinced, and I still am, that everybody should know and learn the Alexander Technique, because it has such a positive effect on your general wellbeing.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to join the teacher training of Tessa Marwick and Paul Versteeg in Amsterdam. That was one of the best decisions I ever took in my life, and already I had so many valuable experiences teaching the AT.
So much freedom
It is fascinating how many advantages the AT can have for people when it comes to their habits and the overall physical and mental use of themselves.
Just realizing what it is that we are actually doing in our daily lives is a big revelation for most people. One of the things I often hear as a teacher: ‘Am I really doing that?’. Once the student realizes what he or she is doing and ‘how’ they are doing it – which is not necessarily obvious; often somebody has to help by pointing it out to you – he or she has the possibility to pause and decide to cease what they’re doing, or to do the same thing, but differently. Eventually, by being conscious of what you are doing, and deciding what it really is that you want to do (instead of letting your habits take over), you gain a lot of freedom at a very fundamental level.