"Diane found innovative ways to keep Jenna’s body limber and mobile even after she began using a wheelchair."
Diane Gaary worked with my daughter Jenna from the age of 8 to her passing at age 22. Diane was one of the most important people in Jenna’s life, giving her the tools and motivation to continue walking as long as possible. Jenna’s disability ultimately robbed her of mobility but Diane found innovative ways to keep Jenna’s body limber and mobile even after she began using a wheelchair. Diane understands the physical and psychological needs of her clients, and Jenna and I knew how lucky we were to have found her!"
~Melinda Kremer, founder of American Dance Wheels
As a music educator… as a drama director… (and) as a neurologic patient… I continue to live the life I want.
I have been studying since 1999... As a music educator, I began Alexander Lessons after hearing praise for the Technique in an "Improve your Conducting Skills" workshop at a state Music Conference. Increasing my body awareness with Diane's guidance through the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method®, I greatly improved the clarity of my musical expression and the communication with my students.
As a drama director, every season I would lose my voice. I mentioned this to Diane and she asked if I wanted to try the Lessac System. Using Lessac, I haven't lost my voice for ten years. The cast said "but it's a tradition. You always lose your voice before the week of the show!" My response was "The Lessac System works like an antioxidant for my voice!"
As a neurologic patient with a rare disorder that affects my gait, balance, muscle tone and coordination, I continue the lessons to handle my ever-changing body. I would need more assistive devices if I were not Diane's student. With joy, knowledge, and patience she helps me find movement and control. I continue to live the life I want.
I know from first-hand experience that (Diane) is extremely capable of bringing out the finest work from her students.
Speaking as a director, Artistic Director for Temple Theaters and as a teacher and mentor, I have had the frequent pleasure and privilege to collaborate with Diane Gaary as a voice and speech specialist. She is, without question, a superior artist and practitioner, a consummate professional and a creative innovator in her field. I know from first-hand experience that she is extremely capable of bringing out the finest work from her students. She is an inspiring coach and teacher, taking special care to develop a personal and trusting bond with her students, assuring them that they will have access to her throughout a project or class but not coddling or pampering them. Diane knows how to methodically raise the bar and coax her subjects into applying their best efforts to the work at hand.
Diane has also served us as a superb voice, speech, and dialect coach on numerous productions at Temple and has done the same professionally elsewhere in the region. She is an invaluable resource as a beloved perennial adjunct teacher and instructor for the Department of Theater at Temple and at other colleges and universities in our area.
I am exceedingly grateful to her for our work together and hope to continue our collaboration into the future. Frankly, I feel as if I’d be lost without her as a professional colleague. We are extremely lucky to have her in our world.
~Doug Wager, Artistic Director for Temple Theaters/ former Artistic Director of the Arena Stage in Washington, DC
Diane has inspired me to discover and accept my body, and the beautiful physical place in which it exists.
I am an actor who has always loved to approach my work from a physical place. I have, however, been wracked with tension and habit. Since working with Diane, these tensions and habits have diminished. Diane is intuitive and patient. She identifies the root of unhelpful patterns and finds the most gentle ways to reduce them. Her combined work with the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Method®, motivates me to recognize my deepest difficulties, and find the ways to alter them. Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned from working with Diane is the notion of “inhibition.” Through this practice, I have recognized that my body is on a journey. I am not headed towards a place of perfection, or towards an end of exploration. Diane has inspired me to discover and accept my body, and the beautiful physical place in which it exists.
~Leah Walton, actress
I keep on applying your suggestions in my singing, and I've never sung better.
I want to thank you so much for that talk we had in my lesson and all of the advice you gave me. It helped me so much on the days leading to my recital, the day of, and even today. I keep on applying your suggestions in my singing, and I've never sung better.
~Stephanie Londoño, soprano
Diane, it was wonderful to see you again.
Thank you so much for working with Karly (on her riding). She took in a lot and she has been trying to apply what she learned from you. Looking forward to seeing you again (hopefully soon)!
~Heather Rothrick, Horseback rider, a former student, and mother of a young rider
The work I've done with her has changed my conception of how I play and is the primary reason why I'm still able to make a living as a musician.
I came to Diane as a professional trombonist suffering from severe pain any time that I played my instrument. Diane relieved my pain in our first session and clearly explained why I was experiencing these problems in a way that let me work on myself to get better. The work I've done with her has changed my conception of how I play and is the primary reason why I'm still able to make a living as a musician. She is an incredibly precise, insightful, and generous teacher, able to relate the ideas and the experience of the Alexander Technique in a down-to-earth way that really works. For anyone who is facing a confusing physical issue, or who just wants to explore a new way to become better at their performing craft, I couldn't recommend her more.
~Dan Blacksberg, Trombonist/ recipient 2012 Pew Fellowship in the Arts
Diane found innovative ways to keep Jenna’s body limber and mobile even after she began using a wheelchair.
Diane Gaary worked with my daughter Jenna from the age of 8 until her passing at age 22. Diane was one of the most important people in Jenna’s life, giving her the tools and motivation to continue walking as long as possible. Jenna’s disability ultimately robbed her of mobility but Diane found innovative ways to keep Jenna’s body limber and mobile even after she began using a wheelchair. Diane understands the physical and psychological needs of her clients, and Jenna and I knew how lucky we were to have found her!
~Melinda Kremer, founder of American Dance Wheels
Diane Gaary is a superb practitioner of the Technique…; she clearly has command of group dynamics and can communicate the meaning of this work verbally and by demonstration in ways that everyone can grasp.
The Alexander Technique is now widely taught in conservatories of drama, music, and dance.
It is a deceptively simple practice: the teacher uses her hands to guide the student towards efficient, tension-free movement. However, her doing this successfully requires long training and experience, and the ability to sense each student’s individual areas of (often unconscious) physical strain, misuse, tightness. For the student, the freedom and insight that emerge from lessons have a transformative impact on daily life, and on the practice of sports, the arts, public speaking and other physical activity, as well as in the alleviation of symptoms emanating from stress and misuse. Diane Gaary is a superb practitioner of the Technique. I have experienced some of the most distinguished British teachers, and find her work comparable with the best of them. She is imaginative, but without diluting the basic principles of the teaching. Every lesson is different, creatively addressing whatever aspect of the student’s condition currently requires attention.
There used to be – and maybe still is – a beverage commercial about “the pause that refreshes.” I think of that phrase often when, in the thick of teaching conducting, composing, dealing with human situations, I discover a moment of refreshing pause – “inhibiting”—in Alexander’s language – and take stock of how I am functioning. Diane is a wizard at helping one find this pause, with some new focus or philosophical insight at every lesson, and she uses her hands in a way that reminds me of my teacher of many years ago, F.M. Alexander’s niece. Diane has given introductory (Feldenkrais Method© and Alexander Technique workshops for my students at Swarthmore College; she clearly has command of group dynamics and can communicate the meaning of this work verbally and by demonstration in ways that everyone can grasp.
~Jan Hammer, College Music Professor
Diane is a wonderful teacher who is smart, sensitive, quickly identifies problems and helps you to recognize and release areas of tension.
The Alexander Technique promotes a new way of thinking; a daily awareness of sensing ourselves as a whole and understanding that movement doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. Diane is a wonderful teacher who is smart, sensitive, and can quickly identify problems. She has helped me to recognize and release areas of tension so as to keep a better alignment of my spine and allow energy to flow and be directed more purposefully, especially while playing the piano. This has greatly enhanced my tone and ease of playing. As a physician and pianist, I highly recommend this technique to anyone.
~Rosanne Nahass, MD/ concert pianist
She doesn’t simply teach the work, she uses it, lives it, and applies it to her own healthfulness and her own continued improvement as a teacher and artist.
I have known Diane since 1991, and I have witnessed her keen understanding and awareness of our work. She is clearly dedicated to understanding, learning, and growing through the Lessac Kinesensic discipline. Since her certification with us in 1998, I have been sincerely impressed with her ongoing application of the training into her daily life. She embraces it with depth and substance and the carryover of it into her own life is a model example. She doesn’t simply teach the work, she uses it, lives it, and applies it to her own healthfulness and her own continued improvement as a teacher and artist.
Diane’s deep familiarity with a variety of approaches within voice and speech include singing, science, and therapy of the voice not to mention other voice systems. She definitely has an “all around training.” I can wholeheartedly give you my full support for Diane Gaary.
~Arthur Lessac, The Lessac Institute, 2007
The very positive results have persisted long after our work was done.
Diane is an inspiring teacher and consummate professional, open-hearted and generous..... a bright spirit. I came to her for help with vocal strain and she put together a set of healing exercises for me that were fun and powerful. ....and the very positive results have persisted long after our work was done. She has a special knack for listening to the student's particular needs and coming up with a very customized approach that is creative and effective...and her pacing is exquisitely attuned to the student's frustration tolerance and learning capacity. Finally, she is willing to do whatever it takes to make the sessions useful and I came to see her as a resource for a wide variety of physical issues from back pain and the fear of reinjuring myself to sitting at the computer and peak performance training for surfing and backpacking. She is a force.
~Ira Orchin, Ph.D./surfer/hiker
Her masterful understanding of the interconnected physiological and psychological components of singing is, in my experience, unparalleled.
Diane Gaary …Alexander Technique practitioner, par excellence…has collaborated with me in my Philadelphia and New York City voice studios for the past twenty years. Her masterful understanding of the interconnected physiological and psychological components of singing is, in my experience, unparalleled. Diane’s ability to “see” with her hands and ears, as well as her eyes, enables her, with amazing perception, to discover areas of tension, their root causes, and paths to corrective action…a perfect complement to both the singer and the teacher of voice. She is, at once, empathetic and uncompromising, working most effectively and efficiently and, above all, caringly, with both the professional singer and the singer who simply loves and longs to sing at his/her best.
…from the bottom of my heart (and, I’m certain, many hearts): “Thank you, Diane!”
~Harold Evans, formerly Conductor with Des Moines Metro Opera, Virginia Opera, and Virginia Symphony; currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College
With each passing day, the shoulder and neck pain I thought were just going to be a fact of life has been dissipating.
Once again, Diane’s work with me has really changed things enormously. I am able, more and more, to let go of my shoulders and neck (I’m really shocked at just how much I have been trying to hold them in place) and with each passing day the shoulder and neck pain I thought were just going to be a fact of life have been dissipating. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for her help.
~Brian Duane, cyclist/singer
She always encouraged me to find my own voice without any pressure or force and to have a carefree spirit about it and search with a childlike curiosity.
Diane Gaary is one of those brilliant teachers who change lives. I know she did mine! As soon as I heard her warm resonant voice I knew I wanted to be taught by her. Her vast knowledge and experience along with her therapist spirit, make every minute with her remarkable. Diane was one of my first Lessac voice and body instructors, and her reassuring and patient way of approaching the work left a lasting impression on me and is a part of who I am as a teacher today. She always encouraged me to find my own voice without any pressure or force and to have a carefree spirit about it and search with a childlike curiosity within myself to feel. I would encourage anyone to study and explore with her. It is a gift to learn from Diane Gaary.
~Robin Carr, President Lessac Institute, Associate Professor of Voice and Acting University of Southern Mississippi, and Certified Lessac Kinesensic Trainer
Her classes… helped my voice and body open up in ways that changed my acting forever.
Diane is one of the most passionate and dedicated teachers that I have ever had the privilege of working with. Always there with a supportive word, she helped me navigate my way through Hamlet’s complicated soliloquies while I was preparing the role. Her classes encouraged a holistic awareness of my instrument and helped my voice and body open up in ways that changed my acting forever.
~Corey Sorenson, actor
Our work with the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method® brought a sense of ease and increased power to my performances.
I had the great pleasure of working with Diane for three years while pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting at Temple University. Temple’s program is unique, focusing on mid-career artists and I came to the university with decades of professional acting experience. I can say, without reservation, that she had a great and positive impact on my craft and my life. Her insights helped to look at my work and, by extension, the way in which I relate to the world around me, through a new and exciting lens. Our work with the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method brought a sense of ease and increased power to my performances. I have also begun to cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness, kinesthetic curiosity, and inner-calm not only on-stage but in every aspect of my life.
Diane is also an expert at individualized performance coaching, helping me to analyze the specific challenges of many physically demanding roles. She's also an exceedingly kind and generous soul, creating an atmosphere of comfort and support in times when I was having difficulty professionally or struggling during school. She has my absolute highest recommendation. You cannot help but be transformed after working with Diane.
~Charlie Del Marcelle, actor/educator/ recipient of two 2014 Barrymore awards
We brought Diane Gaary to campus to work with the cast of The Wind in the Willows… I wish we could … for every cast!
We brought Diane Gaary to campus to work with the cast of The Wind in the Willows. Her individual Alexander sessions helped the actors to define their animal characters while protecting their human spines. Diane did a fantastic job of listening one-on-one to the specifics of Mole, Badger, Toad, and Ratty as well as a host of weasels, rabbits, and hedgehogs. They found each animal's ease and range of motion that connected the research to the acting while preserving the group similarities within animal families. I wish we could have individual Alexander sessions for every cast!
~Monica Hayes, Professor of Theatre, Head of Performance, The University of Southern Mississippi
Diane’s voice coaching really helped me both prepare and preserve my voice for a difficult military cadence call that I had to perform on a nightly basis.
Diane’s voice coaching really helped me both prepare and preserve my voice for a difficult military cadence call that I had to perform on a nightly basis. I found her teaching and overall advice in regards to my voice both informative and useful. Thanks, Diane.
~Tom Rader, actor
I am simply amazed by the changes in my singing technique since I began working with Diane Gaary.
I am simply amazed by the changes in my singing technique since I began working with Diane Gaary. Diane has created an awareness for me of my own body and how even the most subtle of changes to posture and balance can significantly alter sound production. Working in tandem with my voice teacher I have found that, with Diane’s subtle bodily alignments, my vocal production has become much easier and over time has taken it to a new level.
~Cantor Mark Stanton, Congregation Beth Emeth, Wilmington Delaware
I am a much more dynamic performer and teacher than I would be without the work with Diane.
It is Diane’s unique combination of training in the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method©, Lessac Voice Work, etc…, and her background as an actor/director/ acting coach, that makes her particularly effective with singers. She has an uncanny ability to “read” people through conversation and interaction in a lesson. Combine this personal sensitivity with her strong abilities to sense visually and with the hands-on Alexander technique, and voila! – She is able to help students in deeply fundamental ways. These students are better able to integrate physical and technical process and interpretation.
My own singing abilities – even my comfort level as a public speaker and one-on-one communicator – have grown exponentially in the several years that I have worked on a consistent basis with Diane. The growth in my own expressive and vocal range, I attribute largely to the Alexander work we have done. This work allows me to optimize my ongoing exploration of vocal technique. I am a much more dynamic performer and teacher than I would be without the work with Diane. In my vocal prime now, I am excited and grateful to say that I can do much in my singing that would not be possible without an awareness of the Alexander Principles and techniques to which Diane introduced me.
~Elem Eley, Baritone, Professor of Voice, Westminster Choir College of Rider University
Diane's instruction has enabled me to overcome serious vocal dysfunction
Diane's instruction has enabled me to overcome serious vocal dysfunction and return to singing work after a long and trying period of disability. Besides possessing tremendous expertise in her field, Diane, even more importantly, brings to her work true insight, empathy, and respect for each student's unique way of working and of being. In my work with her, I find not only my singing much improved, but my whole approach to life.
~Pamela H. Pilch, Soprano, B.A., J.D.
Her approach to dialects is delightful and specific to each individual.
Diane has been my voice and dialect coach on two productions. Her approach to dialects is delightful and specific to each individual; she makes time to meet with actors privately and discovers how sounds and regionalisms inform character. She was especially helpful when I was suffering from vocal loss due to a cold, and provided me with emergency voice coaching prior to a performance. Because of her coaching, I was able to fully support my voice and maintain my vocal health throughout the length of the run.
~Kyra Baker, actress
That one session gave me enough energy and juice to use and finally put together the character I was able to perform.
I remember when Diane worked as a dialect coach on our production “The Darker Face of the Earth” and it took literally one sit-down session on a rainy Saturday afternoon after our long almost five-hour rehearsal for me to understand the simple wants of my character, simply because she took me through his speech patterns. Well, she really did more than that. Because when it came to “Leader” it was more than just a southern Carolina drawl…it was his entire reason for existing in the world of that play. And that one session gave me enough energy and juice to use and finally put together the character I was able to perform. Diane is a truly remarkable instructor and I’m a much better performer for having been taught by her!
~Dike Uzoukwu, actor
Diane’s unique insights and ability to listen at a deep level combined with her caring way enabled a new integration of mind and body, which was a critical step on my healing journey.
Working with Diane Gaary and the Feldenkrais® approach was greatly beneficial. Diane’s unique insights and ability to listen at a deep level combined with her caring way enabled a new integration of mind and body, which was a critical step on my healing journey. I am most grateful to have been touched by Diane and her many gifts. I think of her as an oasis in my life.
Pamela Proscia, Ph.D., Certified Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner and Wellness Researcher
Working with Diane and the Alexander Technique brought me to a deeper understanding of how my posture and breathing are connected.
It’s funny how you can still learn about a body you’ve had for 40 years. Working with Diane and the Alexander Technique brought me to a deeper understanding of how my posture and breathing are connected. Releasing certain holds in my body had a direct relationship with releasing holds in my singing. My voice teacher recommended that I work with Diane and it made a difference. I also believe Diane’s serene nature and caring attitude make the process easy to embrace.
~Roberta Gumbel, actress/singer, Broadway credits include: Showboat, Ragtime, LaBoheme, In My Life; Opera Credits include: Opera Philadelphia, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Houston Grand Opera; soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center
Diane helped get me onstage and perform without back pain. I was also losing my voice in rehearsals for a vocally demanding show, and Diane came in and gave me some tangible tools to open my throat and protect my vocal chords when shouting for the role.
Diane is more than a compassionate, intuitive teacher or mentor, she's a lifesaver! Working with her for voice and Alexander Technique at a time in my life when my spine was in distress, Diane helped get me onstage and perform without back pain. At the time I was also losing my voice in rehearsals for a vocally demanding show, and Diane came in and gave me some tangible tools to open my throat and protect my vocal chords when shouting for the role. Her advice was so applicable to my life on and off-stage, that I decided to pursue a career in alignment work so that I could understand what was behind her skills. She inspired me to be the person I am today.
~Amanda Holston, Actress, Alignment Educator & YogAlign Instructor
With Diane’s guidance, the relief I have achieved seems almost miraculous.
As a physician, I know enough about medications and intervention procedures to understand that none are free of untoward side effects. I have taken Alexander lessons with Diane Gaary to seek safe relief from the pain of osteoarthritis in my knees. I wanted this help because I love ballroom dancing and did not want to give it up, not only because it is a lot of fun, but also because it is good both for my physical well-being (aerobic exercise) and my mind. (Studies show it may protect against Alzheimer’s disease). With Diane’s guidance, the relief I have achieved seems almost miraculous. Now that we understand the risks of COX-2 inhibitors (Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra), it’s wonderful to “dance the night away” without needing any medication or at the most an occasional Advil.
~Muriel Kowlessar, MD, ballroom dancer
I had daily migraines, which were a huge inconvenience in both my school schedule and personal life…Diane released tension where I did not know it existed. I was in complete awe and to this day, I have not had any migraines.
Working with Diane Gaary has helped me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Her knowledge and use of the Alexander Technique increased the awareness of my body, mind, and voice. At the end of the semester, I had daily migraines, which were a huge inconvenience in both my school schedule and personal life. Before going to my doctor, I asked Diane if she could “work her magic” to see if she could alleviate some of the pain. After a session, Diane had released tension where I did not know existed. I was in complete awe and to this day, I have not had any migraines. Diane is one of the best in her field and I have the highest respect for both herself and her talent.
~Jose Guilherme Proença BM Music Education, Westminster Choir College
My day job involves a lot of heavy lifting, and because of what I've learned from her, I've been able to avoid a lot of aches and pains!
Studying with Diane has not only helped me build my singing technique, but also improved functioning in everyday life--my day job involves a lot of heavy lifting, and because of what I've learned from her, I've been able to avoid a lot of aches and pains! Her relaxed, soothing approach is perfect for getting yourself into a positive mindset for singing. I wish I could take her to all of my auditions and performances!
~Kelly Schmidt, mezzo-soprano
After training with Diane, I was accepted to five amazing Performing Arts programs and I am now pursuing my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
The Performing Arts College audition process is nerve-racking and requires a lot of preparation. Diane Gaary gave incredible support, guidance, and thought-provoking exercises that helped finely tune my audition material and prepare me for this process. I felt confident walking into an audition room whether it be for an acting or musical theater program. After training with Diane, I was accepted to five amazing Performing Arts programs and I am now pursuing my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Michigan.
~Brooks Inciardi, actor
With Diane, I not only felt free and comfortable to explore new ways of using my voice as an instrument in my acting and my body as an emotional gauge but felt fully supported by her along each step of my learning process.
I studied Voice and Speech for my 4-year degree under Diane, as well as various lessons in the Alexander Technique, Neutral Mask, and Dialects for the Stage. The education and skills that I developed with her are among the most useful that I received from my theatre education. As an instructor, she is dedicated to her students, working in and outside of class hours, patient with each one and is able and willing to tailor exercises to the needs of her students. With Diane, I not only felt free and comfortable to explore new ways of using my voice as an instrument in my acting and my body as an emotional gauge but felt fully supported by her along each step of my learning process. Having graduated, I feel prepared to take on new vocal challenges, to explore roles from a more physical place, and be unafraid to ask for help or seek more training.
~Olivia Lanz, actress
Her work reminded me to live graciously in the moment. It was also great prep for auditions.
On my 50th birthday, I relocated from Cali to NYC to have another go at my acting career. The stress level was astronomical! Diane took me under her Alexander wing and gave me tools to align mind/body through breath and thought. Her work reminded me to live graciously in the moment. It was also great prep for auditions. Diane’s gentle voice always urged me within and I still hear her today: “Where is my attention?” “Does my attention at this moment include me?” “The right thing will do itself if you leave yourself alone.” Thanks, Diane.
~Kristine Waters, actress
The Alexander Technique (as taught by Diane) has changed my life—forever and for the better.
Diane Gaary is an exceptional teacher and healing artist. Her precise diagnostic eye coupled with her gentle manner made me feel safe and eager for her guidance and suggestions.
Having studied with Diane for 3 years in an intense MFA Acting program, I can honestly say that the Alexander Technique (as taught by Diane) has changed my life—forever and for the better. In my professional career as an actor and singer, the Alexander work has freed me to make bolder and more creative choices. In my personal life, the Alexander work has enabled me to be more focused, at peace, and overall more productive.
As a voice and speech teacher, Diane is equally impressive. Through her guidance and encouragement, I have made incredible discoveries about my instrument. I have been able to understand and employ safer and more efficient ways of using my voice in consistent and expressive ways. Put simply: She is the Best!!
~Julie C, actress/educator
The work we did together has completely changed my life as a performer and young person growing up in such a fast paced world.
The work we did together has completely changed my life as a performer and young person growing up in such a fast paced world. More work with Diane could only result in discovering how to discover and play onstage and in life with more detail and ease. I would always say how I could still “feel her hands” where she had adjusted me. I still can today, which let me tell you, has been a great comfort at times when I am feeling terrified in this new life in this big, spread out city. I know it can only keep me grounded.
~Elena Bossler, actress
Diane Gaary has been enormously and immediately helpful in identifying… habits that create that tension in the singing voice… She is one of our greatest resources!
Diane Gaary has been enormously and immediately helpful in identifying sources of physical tension as well as the habits that create that tension in the singing voice. She has provided short and long-term solutions to both me and my students that have been very helpful in all aspects of movement, not just singing! She is one of our greatest resources!
Margaret Cusack, chairman of Department of Piano and Voice, Westminster Choir College of Rider University
She is an incredibly knowledgeable, generous instructor, and I feel like I have learned a great deal from working with her
I’m graduating after this coming spring semester, and I have decided to attend the URTA auditions and apply to MFA an acting program. Between having Diane as a professor for two separate classes, having her as a vocal coach for two Temple main stage productions, and working with her in private instruction over the summer, I honestly feel that working with Diane has been one of the highlights of my time at Temple; she is an incredibly knowledgeable, generous instructor, and I feel like I have learned a great deal from working with her in all of those settings.
~Mark Sherlock, actor
After only a few sessions… What people called my "frozen shoulder" was no longer frozen.
Diane Gaary has been my Alexander Technique teacher for almost ten years now. When I started out with her, my arthritis was causing me much discomfort and inability to use my right arm and hand the way I was using the left side of my body.
After only a few sessions, my right arm improved miraculously. I was finally able to stretch it all the way across to my left side. What people called my "frozen shoulder" was no longer frozen. I began to regain most of my strength when I played the piano.
In 2010 I even accompanied my grandson during his senior cello recital. Everyone was amazed, esp. myself.
Diane not only teaches about the important parts of our bodies, she is also an excellent listener. While she "works" on various sections which are tense or tight, she is also learning about our personal issues, so she can figure out what causes our physical limitations and ailments. In this respect, she is as sensitive and knowledgeable as our homeopaths. I feel very fortunate to have her as my Alexander Technique teacher.
~Nienlung Liu, pianist
Diane Gaary is a compassionate and patient teacher. Her warmth and genuine care for her students is truly inspirational.
~Daisy Nystul, Chair Theatre Arts Department, University of Central Oklahoma, Lessac Voice and Movement Certified Trainer
Her patience, presence, and knowledge of the voice were truly wonderful.
Diane was the guest teacher at the Irish Teacher training college in Ireland (www.alexander.ie). She worked with all the students with a combination of voice work and the Alexander Technique. Her patience, presence, and knowledge of the voice were truly wonderful. We all hope she returns one day!
~Rick Brennan – Director of The Alexander Technique Training Center, Galway, Ireland
I suffered from chronic shoulder pain… it's a wonderful feeling to be able to produce a larger, more resonant tone without suffering pain the next day.
I have been working with Diane Gaary for about six years. I had suspected for some time that I, a cellist, was moving in ways that were either ineffective or harmful when I was performing or practicing for performances. I suffered from chronic shoulder pain, especially in my right shoulder, and got only temporary relief from regularly scheduled massage appointments. Through my work with Diane I have learned to use my body more efficiently and with more awareness. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to produce a larger, more resonant tone without suffering pain the next day.
The Alexander Technique is more than a technique, it is a path toward healthy movement and more control over that movement. It teaches us to be more aware of what we are doing during any activity and to use only those muscles that are needed; at the same time we are keeping those muscles that are not needed in that moment relaxed and fluid, ready to respond when necessary. Relaxation practice is very important, and Diane has helped me to greater awareness of holding tension while believing that I was relaxed.
~Carol Vizzini, Cellist, cello teacher Westminster Choir College Conservatory
These skills are for everyone: actors, dancers, musicians, teachers, lawyers, public speakers and anyone else who considers increased self-awareness and more efficient use of the breath to be a valuable tool for life and healthier living.
The study and discipline of breathing is one of the most rewarding experiences and gifts to oneself. This study requires patience with the techniques and oneself, practice, reflection and self-awareness. I’ve found Diane Gaary to be the best of instructors for this elusive, yet practical training. Diane is truly on “top of her game.” She’s thorough in teaching the various techniques including Alexander and Feldenkrais®, patient and caring with her students regardless of age, experience and level of expertise. I came to study Alexander and Feldenkrais® via the MFA/Teaching Fellowship program at Temple University for mid-career professionals. I’ve been a professional actor for many years, performing in theatre, television, film and commercials and came to the teaching fellowship in fairly good physical condition and quality experience as an actor. I’ve never lost my voice while performing, often in large venues without amplification and with no difficulty. Once I began lessons with Diane Gaary, I found how and where I could improve my skills and awareness through the Alexander and Feldenkrais® breathing techniques and exercises. The Feldenkrais® study, after the experience of the Alexander Technique, was the tool that helped bring about the change: more effectiveness, ease and efficiency in performance that was a real break-through for me as an actor. I recommend Diane Gaary more than any other instructor of Alexander and Feldenkrais®. Diane has helped me not only as a performer with improved skills and awareness than ever before, but also through her instruction and example helped me to become a more effective teacher of theatre studies. These skills are for everyone: actors, dancers, musicians, teachers, lawyers, public speakers and anyone else who considers increased self-awareness and more efficient use of the body and breath to be valuable tools for life and healthier living.
~Robert Jackson, actor/educator
She is the type of teacher who gives 100% to each student, regardless of their level of experience.
I am not a performer but wanted to do some work. My voice was “going out’ on me from time to time, and my doctor indicated there was no medical cause – probably a usage problem. I came across Diane’s name on the Internet. I took some lessons from her and was very happy with the results that I got from the work, as well as the time that I spent with her. She is the type of teacher who gives 100% to each student, regardless of their level of experience, and is a warm, poised, and pleasant person. She is highly experienced and trained in many disciplines, one of which, the Alexander technique, is one that I already did have some prior exposure to --- and is one of the most worthwhile things I have done in my life. I highly recommend Diane as a teacher. Her professionalism and mastery of her craft will ensure positive results and progress for the student, and her personality and good humor will make it a very pleasant experience.
~James McKain, technical writer
Students who work with Diane are able to move ahead much more quickly and with greater long-term success.
For the last several years, a highlight of my teaching has been the 2-3 days per semester that I invite Diane into my voice studio at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where we team-teach my own students. Actually, in these lessons, I sit at the piano, making occasional affirmations and/or vocal directives. I sometimes communicate with Diane in advance that a particular student has certain needs, but she is consistently able to determine how best to deal with each student that enters the room. I have never been disappointed in Diane’s ability to equip my students to maximize the vocal techniques I teach them. This work together in my studio is central to the progress of the great majority of my students. I do not pretend to be an Alexander expert, but I reference the concepts of dynamic alignment and balance, etc…, in lessons; the students who work with Diane are able to move ahead much more quickly and with greater long-term success. Several of my voice students have followed up on their work with Diane in my studio in subsequent private work with her at her own studio. These students credit their ability to progress in voice study, to a significant degree to the Alexander work with Diane.
On several occasions, I have invited Diane to address my students as a group (studio class), introducing them to Alexander Technique through lecture and demonstration with individual singers. This is a highly valuable use of class time, as many of these students are inspired and begin to recognize more clearly, the relationship between the approach to body management and choices of technique while singing.
I also teach in various summer programs at WCC for high school students. In the “Solo Vocal Artist” program, Diane teaches performance-based classes and directs staging rehearsals, with great success. I am able to reference concepts in the students’ voice lessons that I know Diane has introduced to them in classes and rehearsals. I am able to be a more effective teacher due to the awareness and process that Diane concurrently brings to these young students.
Some of my private students have found helpful alternatives and specific help with illnesses or physical disorders with which they are afflicted. This is another area in which Diane’s varied training, abilities, and experience empower her to help many people on many levels.
~Elem Eley, Baritone, Professor of Voice, Westminster Choir College of Rider University
I came to Diane...with plenty of habits--many of which stemmed from a severe scoliosis which had been operated on/fused in my youth...Some 7 years later, I've gone on to train as an AT teacher myself, yet I often recall morsels of knowledge and insight gleaned from Diane which--considering how many teachers I've had at this point--says volumes about the depth of her teaching.
"I came to Diane with a few years of regular AT lessons, but still with plenty of habits--many of which stemmed from a severe scoliosis which had been operated on/fused in my youth. What I found in Diane was not only a skilled teacher with sensitive/intuitive hands, more importantly, I found a wealth of knowledge about so many other disciplines (scoliosis, anatomy, voice pathology etc). Diane's ability to relate all the peripheral expertise to the core AT principles enabled her to target my lessons to the particular issues in my singing as well as my physical rebalancing. Diane is a master of the delicate art of giving students not only what they want from lessons, but also what they need. This is especially difficult in AT where we're confronting our unconscious habits and learning to recalibrate and reconsider. She is direct and honest, but never judgmental and such gracious warmth is essential for any student to really (re)think and grow. Some 7 years later, I've gone on to train as an AT teacher myself, yet I often recall morsels of knowledge and insight gleaned from Diane which--considering how many teachers I've had at this point--says volumes about the depth of her teaching"
~Holly Caracappa, actress/singer/Alexander Technique teacher