I’ve been taking piano lessons as an adult for over ten years with reputable and qualified instructors from various well-known and established institutions. As my level improved I started tackling more demanding and challenging repertoire. Mindless and repetitive exercises led to unproductive results, and I suffered injury as a result of poor technique. I was ready to give up entirely, but my love for the piano compelled me to look again for another instructor. My extensive research led me to Heather Campbell.
With Heather’s unique approach, masterful knowledge of technique, and understanding of the intricate details of piano repertoire, I was able to find the joy in playing the piano again. I was introduced to the world of Alexander Technique, and the incredible benefits it has on eliminating the stress that can cause injury at the piano.I enjoy working with Heather, and it’s a privilege to be her student. I no longer struggle with injury, and Alexander Technique has changed the way I use my body at the piano and everyday life. I now make music at the piano instead of playing notes on a page. There are those that have complete command of the piano, and perform with incredible skill and musicianship, but can’t effectively teach. Heather does both really well, and I highly recommend her.
I've worked with many accompanists in my 30 years of training and activity as a musician. Heather is one of the best. Not every pianist with technical chops also has the sensitivity and flexibility to be an outstanding accompanist. Heather has it all. Her fine musicianship brings out the best in my own performance (and she can turn on a dime to minimize the consequences of any unintentional improvisation on my part!). Her professionalism means the last thing I need to worry about in the stressful context of a performance or audition is my accompanist. Her calm personality is a very grounding and her great sense of humour is a bonus. I recommend her unreservedly.
I came to study with Heather Campbell a handful of years ago. I had previously studied Alexander Technique some 20 years ago and had remained intrigued by the possibilities to free up one’s potential. While performing for many years I had become stuck and disillusioned with my playing abilities. There was a maze of technical roadblocks I could not overcome despite many hours, weeks and months of struggles. I took to avoiding certain repertoire with a knowledge that it would be unattainable to me. With Heather’s talents as both an Alexander Technique teacher and an accomplished pianist, I found that she was able to understand where I was getting hung up on technical and musical issues and provide ways to overcome many obstacles in a manner that felt most natural and effortless. Although it truly is an endless journey, I have once again discovered a real joy in music making thanks to Heather’s musicality and talent in conveying the essence of the Alexander Technique.
Heather is attentive, patient, generous, unbelievably knowledgeable, and has a keen feel for body work. I developed a suppleness of movement through Heather’s Alexander Technique work. I also became calmer and more present using what I learned. Heather helped me reach what seemed like an impossible goal - to stand up straighter. I was always told to do this, but didn’t know how. Heather helped me know how. I highly recommend Heather’s work. It’s a great gift to self.
I had huge gaps in my musical memories. But, when I struggled and failed, Heather was unfailingly encouraging. If my hands or shoulders hurt from practicing (and they did!), she would turn into an Alexander Technique Teacher and explain just how I could readjust my posture, or the alignment of my hands to ease away the pain. When my fingers just wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do, she would teach me how to calm my mind and body, so that suddenly my fingers would fly and the piece would take shape. And above all, lessons were fun! No matter what I flubbed, crashed through, or just plain got wrong, she always praised what I did manage to do, and showed me how easy it was to fix my problems.
The reason people should take lessons from someone with Heather’s amazing range of abilities became apparent when she started to ask me to find the musical spirit in the piece – to interpret it. When I didn’t know how, she demonstrated the mechanically correct ways of playing the music I was working on. Then she played the same piece with emotion and passion. I saw the difference and struggled to change. I am still floundering. But, here and there, my playing stirs some inexplicable pleasure centers deep in my brain and body. Now I sometimes even find myself “wasting” practice time playing very simple pieces that have somehow become incredibly moving.
I am looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with my talented and flexible mentor. Thank you Heather. You rock!