Alison studied the violin at the Royal College of Music and led the orchestra of the National Centre for Orchestral studies at the University of London. Persistent performance-specific musculoskeletal problems led her to the Alexander Technique and she qualified as a teacher in 1992, becoming Visiting Tutor in at Birmingham Conservatoire shortly afterwards. At the Conservatoire, with colleague Roy Thompson, Alison runs courses consisting of classes and individual lessons, which enable students to learn how the Alexander Technique can help them in all aspects of their everyday lives, including performance.
Alison has a BSc and a PhD from the University of Birmingham and in addition to playing the violin and teaching, works as an independent research scientist. She recently gained an MSc in Performing Arts Medicine from University College London. Alison is a registered British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) practitioner and member of its Service Evaluation and Research Advisory Group, and has been a guest speaker at training and development seminars and workshops of national music societies, university music departments and music colleges, and BAPAM.
As a performer, and through her teaching and research Alison has accumulated extensive experience in helping musicians to improve both the ergonomical aspects of their playing and singing, and their attitudes and approaches towards everyday practice and performance. She is particularly interested in the combined cognitive and neuromuscular aspects of performance and the underlying mechanisms which determine whether, and how, both mental and physical problems develop or diminish over time. Alison is currently undertaking research into the neuromuscular aspects of instrumental playing and singing in collaboration with cognitive-motor scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Areas of Expertise
- The Alexander Technique and its application to performance and practice
- Ergonomics of instrumental playing/singing
- Performing arts medicine.
- BSc (Hons)