Emma Alter

Emma is a Feldenkrais teacher, and comes from a background as a professional classical musician. In 1999 she became involved with the Feldenkrais Method, leading to her training as a certified teacher in 2011-15.

She especially enjoys working with performers, children, athletes, and people of all ages and abilities to recapture pain free balance, movement, grace, and power.

As a teacher, I bring my kindness, intelligence, positivity and patience to work with clients, starting from where they are. We work together to explore the possibilities to change both the way you move. Thought, movement, emotion, and muscular tension are intertwined — one can’t have a strong thought, and it not affect the musculature.

I came to Feldenkrais by accident, at a music course. We lay on the floor, did some weird tiny movements, I wondered what I was doing there, but when I got up, I walked completely differently. I couldn’t believe. it. I hadn’t done anything one could construe as work in the normal sense and there I was moving with a fluidity and ease I didn’t recognise as my own. I did these lessons every day of the course, and decided that it was something I needed to bring into my life.

Back in London, I found a a teacher to continue with, Scott Clark.  I noticed that when I was practising Feldenkrais regularly, I didn’t get the normal shoulder pain whilst playing the viola. I felt calmer, more grounded, and better in general. I felt less stressed on stage, and more comfortable with finding my own voice. My playing has transformed, and I can say with hand on heart that practising Feldenkrais has made me a far better musician.

I became a Feldenkrais teacher for a slightly different reason however. I was born with something wrong with my legs, spent much of my childhood in hospitals, wheelchairs, and told by every specialist I saw that I would be in a wheelchair by 30. Having experienced part of my early life in a chair, I was determined that wouldn’t happen unless it was absolutely necessary, but knew I had to do something to prevent it. I’d watched many people around deteriorate as they aged, even without my restrictions.

When I came across the Feldenkrais Method I realised that this would be the best way forwards for me.

Feldenkrais not a miracle cure, it can’t get rid of the condition I have, but practising it regularly enables me to use the rest of myself as well as possible to compensate for the parts of me that don’t work so well.

I have little pain now, far less than in my youth, move better than ever, (and more easily than many of the ‘able-bodied’ people I know) and go dancing and running when I feel like it.

We use this ‘Feldenkraisian’ process of learning, through moving and sensing, to help clients first recognise, and then organically shift from their habitual patterns. Whether coming to me for performance ‘enhancement’, or because of chronic pain, I have successfully worked with many clients to find new patterns of moving, feeling and expression to emerge: allowing them to find or recapture pain free movement, grace, and power.

Twenty years of experience of professional performance at a world-class level and of pedagogic experience teaching violin/viola has given me a specialist interest in performers, and children, but also strong base to work with a wide range of clients, whatever walk of life they come from, or for whatever purpose they wish to improve the way they move. My individual clients have included singers, musicians, expectant mothers, children with special needs, computer programmers to cordon bleu chefs.

I especially enjoy working with both professional musicians and singers (of all genres) to improve performance and enable performers to move away from stage anxiety into a more positive stage presence. I work together with 2 colleagues in a joint venture “the Well Musician”, as well as individually giving workshops for musicians for the Musicians Union, and for most of the major music colleges in the UK.

The other area of speciality is working with children. I have over twenty years experience teaching children in a musical domain, and now add Feldenkrais. Combining the two is a positive way to work with very young children, allowing the movement to become part of a musical game we play together. ( I have an up to date Extended DBV Check)

At the end, I enjoy working with people of all ages and abilities who wish to learn something new to recapture pain free balance, movement, grace, and power.

I am fully insured, a member of the UK Feldenkrais Guild, (click here for my Feldenkrais Guild profile)  and abide by their Code of Ethics.

I am currently the vice-Chair for the UK Feldenkrais Guild Committee, (the British professional body) and was vice-secretary and acting vice-Chair on the EuroTAB Council, the governing body for the European Accreditation Board for Feldenkrais from 2015-2017.

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