Participants at a workshop at the Alexander Technique 9th International Congress 2011

vivien mackie scotland

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Photo of Vivien Mackie, presenter at the Alexander Technique Congress 2015

continuous learning session: all week | details

Vivien is a cellist who sailed through her traditional musical training, with all the best teachers available, until she was brought up short at her first post-graduate lesson with the legendary Pablo Casals, who said 'you do not know what you are doing'. He was right. Next he said 'Just play naturally'. For someone who had always been praised for her naturalness, that came as a shock.

As the lessons went on, it was clear that Casals's principles and methods were strikingly different from and even contradictory to anything she had met before, and strikingly close to those of F.M. Alexander, as she discovered some years later. Intrigued by this, she trained as an Alexander teacher with Walter Carrington, and was able then to take her work right out of the music studio and into the wider world.

Farther on, there were singing lessons and collaboration in teaching with the remarkable singing teacher Angela Caine, which opened Vivien's horizons still further. Vivien has taught in Opera Houses, University Music Departments and Colleges, Alexander Teacher Training Courses and also privately all over the world.

In the 1990's she ran an Alexander Teacher Training Course in Australia, exclusively for musicians. Vivien is now based in Glasgow.

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