BA, B.Ed., MA, PhD

Instructor, Theatre
School of Performing Arts
School of Performing Arts - Theatre
Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts

604.986.1911 ext. 2412
Arbutus Building, room AR106
gbrandes@capilanou.ca

Education

PhD, Education, University of British Columbia, 1994.

Alexander Technique Teaching Certification, Haifa School of the Alexander Technique, Haifa, 1988.

MA, Curriculum and Instruction, Education, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1985.

B.Ed., Teaching Certificate, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1975.

BA, Hebrew Literature and English Literature, Haifa University, 1975.

"Teaching the Alexander Technique, I focus on awareness, choice and efficiency, as students acquire tools to be present and available for self-discovery as they work on their craft and art."

Bio

Gabriella Minnes Brandes (PhD, University of British Columbia, 1994) is an educator with a specific interest and expertise in the Alexander Technique. She has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 30 years and is currently teaching in the Theatre Department at Capilano University.

After completing her Masters in Education (1985), Minnes Brandes completed a three-year certified teacher training course in the Alexander Technique. She has maintained an active practice teaching the Alexander Technique with a real interest in working with performers. She has taught at the Pender Island Flute Retreat, Vancouver Opera's Young Artists Program, Pacific Opera, Victoria and Opera Nuova in Edmonton and at Capilano University.

Minnes Brandes works extensively in collaboration with musicians, voice, movement and acting instructors. Much of her current work and research focuses on exploring the connections between the Alexander Technique and creativity as it pertains to performers. Informed by her PhD and research in education, she is also exploring the connections between current educational research and the Alexander Technique teacher training. She has served on national and international committees of Alexander Technique organizations.

Minnes Brandes has also taught high level equestrians and was invited to teach in a summer intensive of Centred Riding (Alberta).

Teaching the Alexander Technique, I focus on awareness, choice and efficiency. Students acquire tools to be present and available for self-discovery as they work on their craft and art.

Teaching the Alexander Technique entails having students become aware of their habitual patterns of response, learning to think in activity, providing the space needed to make new choices, and improving the overall level of awareness to movement to become very efficient and effective in performance. Through the application of the Alexander Technique, students learn to track how they respond to stimuli by using tools to be authentic and versatile as they respond in real time.

My research focuses on effective ways to apply the Alexander Technique with performers. I inquire into creating and cultivating possible "bridges" between rehearsal and performance spaces, and how to support artists in these transitions.

I seek opportunities to collaborate with other teachers and artists through the application of the Alexander Technique principles through interdisciplinary work. Much of my current work and research focuses on exploring the connections between the Alexander Technique and creativity as these pertain to performers. Informed by my PhD and research in education, I explore the connections between current educational research and the Alexander Technique.

Publications

Brandes, G.M. Alexander Technique gives me space to create musically: Musicians explore the application of Alexander Technique principles, Congress Proceedings, 2019.

Brandes, G.M. Competent Alexander Technique teachers: A big picture and a Canadian Perspective, Congress Proceedings, 2019.

Brandes, G. M. FM Alexander and J Grotowski in dialogue, STATNews, Vol 9 issue 7, pp. 21-23, 2017.

Brandes, G.M. Music making: Communication and creativity. Pp. 13-20. Direction. Vol. 3 Issue 10, 2016.

Brandes, G.M. Direction, Learning, teaching, music-making and the Alexander Technique, p. 4. Vol. 3 Issue 10, 2016.

Brandes, G.M. Alexander Technique with actors: Alert, calm, readiness. 9th International Congress for Teachers of the Alexander Technique: Learning from each other. The Congress Papers. (Siriol Jones, Ed.) Stat Books, pp. 278-289, 2012.

Brandes, G. M. Applying Alexander Technique Principles with a high school choir. Global spotlight. In the Moment, 32, pp. 15-17, 2011.

Brandes, G. M., Bassan, N, Kilroy, R. Moore, D., & Stern, J. C. How do we educate teachers of the Alexander Technique? Facilitating the transition from student to teacher, Lugano Congress proceedings, 2008.

Brandes, G. M. Applying Alexander Technique principles with a high school choir: Lessons learned, Lugano Congress proceedings, 2008.

Brandes, G. M. & Dionne, K. P. In multiple voices: Alexander Technique in the high school choral rehearsal The B.C. Music Educator, 51(3) pp. 8-12, (also online), 2008.

Brandes, G.M. & Davis, C. The Alexander Technique and teaching music: Connections and possibilities. The B.C. Music Educator, Opus 50, 51(1) 31-33 (also online), 2007.

Most recent invited presentations and workshops

2018: Alexander Technique for Performance course, VSO School of Music, Vancouver, BC.

2018: Alexander Technique for Singers workshop with Pacific Opera, Victoria, BC.

2018: Alexander Technique for Instructors of Centered Riding, Alberta.

2018: Alive Body: two days of Alexander Technique for actors as a part of a 10 day intensive in Grotowskis acting method, Bowen Island, BC.

2018: Alexander Technique: Performing with a full voice, a workshop for performers, Calgary, AB.

2018: Alexander Technique: Performing with a full voice, Voice Department, University of Calgary, AB.

2018: Competencies conference: Participation in the Competencies Conference to create an instrument to determine Alexander Teacher Competencies.

2018: Pender Island Flute Retreat.

2018: Alexander Technique and opera singing. A set of workshops for the Vancouver Young Artists Program.

2018: Alexander Technique with a focus on performance: UBC School of Music Student Association

2018: Performing with a full voice: Two-day workshop for the Vancouver School of Music, Voice department.

2018: Alexander Technique for piano teachers, Showcase Academy.

2017: Workshop for Alexander teacher: Learning to observe and collaborate, Pittsburgh.

2017: Workshop for flute players, with Lorna McGhee, Pittsburgh.

2017: Alexander Technique for singers, Edmonton.

2017: Alexander Technique for Equestrian Athletes, Edmonton.

2017: Alexander Technique for actors: Actorium studio, Vancouver.

2017: Pender Island Flute Retreat.

2017: Alexander Technique for performers: Mount Royal Conservatory, Calgary.

2017: Alexander Technique: Music making and teaching, Calgary.

2017: Alexander Technique: An introduction for musicians. Workshop for UBC Music School.

2017: Honing our observation skills, CANSTAT sponsored workshop for Alexander teachers in British Columbia.

2017: Competencies conference: Participation in the Competencies Conference to create an instrument to determine Alexander Teacher Competencies.

2016: Alexander Technique: A focus on early childhood education. San Diego, Reggio Roundtable.

2016: Workshop for piano teachers, Vancouver, BC.

2016: Alexander Technique series of workshops for Young Artists in Residence Program. Vancouver Opera (6 days).

2015: Alexander Technique for Singer-Song writerPerformer program, Blue Egg.

2015: Alexander Technique for wind and percussion orchestra, Byng Secondary School.

2015: Alexander Technique: An embodied practice. A workshop as a part of a Graduate course entitled Embodiment and Curriculum; Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.

Other activities

Member of Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (most recent past president) since 1990. Member of teacher Training Committee.

Member of Society of Teachers of Alexander Technique (UK) since 1989.

Member of American Society ofTeachers of Alexander Technique since 2000.

Member of Alexander Technique International since 2016.

Founder and co-director of the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique since 2002.

Research Award, Enhancing actors interactions on stage using the Alexander Technique, American Society of Teacher of the Alexander Technique, 2012.

Award for Excellence in Teaching, Sessional Teaching, University of British Columbia, 2003-04.

University Graduate Fellowship, University of British Columbia, 1990-92.