Gabriella Minnes Brandes
- Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gabriella Minnes Brandes, Ph.D. has been teaching for close to 30 years. Gaby is the owner of the Alexander Technique Centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada. In her private practice, Gaby has been working extensively with performers (musicians and actors). She also teaches equestrian athletes, engineers, physicians and people working with computers (among others) In her private practice she works with students whose age ranges from five to ninety three. Gaby has taught the Alexander Technique in an experimental elementary school, teaching students in kindergarten, grade One and Four. Over the last seven years, she is also teaching Alexander Technique in the Theatre department at Capilano University in BC, Canada. Gaby works in collaboration with voice and movement instructors in the department, focusing on the application of the Alexander Technique, as acring students are encouraged to explore, experiment, and reflect on effective ways of using themselves to enhance their actors’ training.
Gaby is interested in making explicit connections between students’ interests, questions and curiosities to the application of the Alexander principles in varied contexts. She supports her students in tying what she teaches in the lessons to how students apply what is learned in different aspects of their lives.
Much of Gaby’s current work and research focuses on exploring the connections between Alexander Technique and creativity for performers. In particular, she is seeking ways to work with performers on creating a continuum of experiences between the “practice room” and the “stage”. Funded by the American Society of the Teachers of the Alexander Technique research grant, Gaby designed and executed a project, whereby actors explored the relationships between improvisation and the application of principles of the Alexander Technique in “real time”. She also interviewed twenty professional musicians about the ways in which they apply principles of the Alexander Technique to music making. She is now conducting research with a piano teacher, exploring ways to apply Alexander Technique principles systematically with young piano students and analyze their impact.
Gaby teaches The Alexander Technique in the Young Artists Program at the Vancouver Opera, and at the Pender Island Flute Retreat. She has also taught at Opera Nuova, Edmonton, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Human Theatre Collective in Vancouver.
Informed by her Ph.D. and research in education, she is also exploring the connections between learning, collaboration, and performance. She applies her background in educational research to study how to enhance Alexander Technique teacher training. Gaby is an active participant in an international group of Alexander teachers who are working on articulating Alexander Technique teachers’ competencies and how to assess them. Gaby presented her work in many international conferences and has published papers that summarize her work in STATNews, Direction, and conference proceedings.
Gaby is the founder and co-director of the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique, a three-year CANSTAT certified teacher-training course. She is very interested in the process of supporting trainees in the journey to become teachers. After graduation, Gaby promotes and cultivates a culture of support and exploration through continued professional development for Alexander teachers.
Member of CANSTAT, STAT, AmSAT, and ATI, Gaby has served on the executive of CANSTAT numerous times and is an active participant in the Teacher Training Committee.
- Training School: The Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique
- First Language: English