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Musician teaches Alexander Technique, among other things

Mon, Aug 5, 2013

One on One

yp_ian_fergusonIan Ferguson is a 30-year-old musician, teacher, singer and songwriter. He and his wife, Beth Hembd, recently moved to his native Colorado Springs to raise their son. He works at the Colorado Springs Conservatory and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

What do you do for a living?

I am a musician and a teacher. I am on the faculty at the Colorado Springs Conservatory where I teach piano, voice, guitar, Alexander Technique and music theory. I have a private studio of music and Alexander Technique students. I also play music professionally in the region. Most recently I was the music director and pianist for “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well in Paris” at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

What do you like most about this choice of career?

I enjoy it and continue to learn and grow as a musician and as a person, as a result of my career.

Tell us about the albums you’ve recorded.

My wife, Beth Hembd, and I have been writing and recording music in various settings since we met in 2002. Writing and producing recordings of songs is where I feel most comfortable. As soon as I finish one album I start work on the next. I imagine I always will – it is kind of like eating and breathing to me. It is just part of who I am. You can hear and download them at www.bethandian.bandcamp.com.

What is your favorite type of music and why?

My favorite type of music is good music. I can appreciate almost anything if it is well done. That said, some of my favorites are the Beatles, Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Townes Van Zandt, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Brad Mehldau, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Nick Drake, Paul Simon and many more.

Tell us about the Alexander Technique.

The Alexander Technique is an often-overlooked technique developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander in the early 1900s. F.M. Alexander was an actor who was losing his voice. He stumbled upon some very useful and fundamental things about the way we work while attempting to figure out why he was losing his voice. He eventually fixed his problem, realized everyone else had their own version of the same problem, and developed his technique to help the human race.

We form unconscious habits as a result of our reactions to all the stimuli we face in our lives. The Alexander Technique teaches us to undo these habits so we can live in a state of poise. This has countless benefits and affects every part of our lives. I found the technique after developing horrible and debilitating tendonitis playing music in college. Now, I can play all day with no pain, and my entire experience has changed for the better. You can read more about it at www.thinkingcrowstudios.com.

In which other areas of life can the Alexander Technique be used?

The Alexander Technique can be applied to your entire life. Every moment of your day. I have even dreamt it. Our underlying conditions, what we call our “use of our self” is what determines how well we function. From breathing, to playing the piano, to giving a speech, to running, it can be applied to literally anything. There have been several major studies proving its effectiveness in addressing chronic neck and back pain.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to spend time with my beautiful wife and our amazing son, Elliott. I enjoy playing music, walking in the forest, hanging with friends and family, and watching movies.

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