AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Anna Tolstoy

Anna Tolstoy

AT for string players – how to teach the reach and stretch

Musicians come to AT lessons for very different reasons, yet each musical instrument presents its own common challenges. Majority of my students happen to be jazz string players – guitarists, bassists, violinists and even oud players. The ink was not yet dry in my AT certificate, when the first student – a string player – literally knocked on my door. That was a beginning of a wonderful teaching experience and collaboration. Through the years I developed a series of exploration exercises that help musicians observe their use while playing, and see how their beliefs about human anatomy can be addressed through games and fun activities.
I would love to share my findings with teachers and students alike.

About Anna Tolstoy

Anna’s interest in the Alexander Technique began long before her official teacher training. While Alexander Technique was virtually unknown in Russia, Anna discovered one of the first ever books on the Technique translated into Russian, and was immediately deeply taken by this work.
Anna successfully graduated from the course after completing mandatory 1600 training hours. During the three-year training, she was assisting Tommy Thompson at Harvard A.R.T. classes for actors. In addition to that, she interned for four semesters at Berklee College of Music with Bob Lada.

She then also completed a two-year Post-Graduate study with Tommy Thomson at ATTC.

It was a natural progression of things, that Anna started working as Alexander Technique teacher with musicians, dancers and actors. Thanks to the opportunity to participate in artists’ professional education classes, Anna became finely attuned to the needs and challenges that artists encounter. Assisting her Alexander Technique instructors in real life teaching scenarios, Anna gained an extensive repertoire of ways in which Alexander Technique can help professional performers.

Yet professional musicians are not the only population that finds Anna’s lessons highly beneficial. Anna truly believes, that deep inside every person is an artist, and welcomes people from all walks of life to her studio.

At the same time, Anna makes the learning process much fun. She wants her students to enjoy their Alexander Technique studies and to easily transfer their newly acquired skills and insights to reaching milestones in their lives. That is why she calls her approach Interactive Alexander Technique. She keeps her students engaged with games, fun video clips, and many explorational exercises, that she specifically develops to meet her students’ challenges. Anna loves a challenge that each student brings to the lesson. In fact, the more challenges the student can come up with, the more excited she gets to explore each and everyone of them.

Her primary source of new business is referrals from her past and current students. There is a saying that “A referral is sending someone you care about to someone you trust,” – and this seems to be an unspoken agreement among Anna’s student body.


See also: Anna Tolstoy – Presenter Detail Page

Friday, 26 August 2022
10:30 h - 11:45 h (10.30am-11.45am)
Main Building
Floor: 3.OG (3rd floor)
Room: H 3012

Performance/Music/Acting/Voice||Practical Teaching Skills



Fully Practical