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Meet the Musicians behind the doors: Emma Alter - Viola

Emma Alter is based in Bloomsbury, London and enjoys a varied creative practice as a classical musician, Feldenkrais Method teacher and bowmaker. As an honorary member of the Musical Mum's group, Emma is a keen Aunty to three fast-growing cuties.

Since studying at three conservatoires, the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal College of Music, and the Amsterdam Conservatoire, (now a few decades ago) Emma has been a freelance viola player working in London. "I am fortunate that my performing and recording has taken me around the world, playing for groups such as the Academy of Ancient Music, Gabrieli Consort and Players, English Baroque Soloists, the Hanover Band, as well as being a keen chamber musician. "

Emma has taught violin and viola to

both children and adults alongside performing for 20+ years, more recently becoming a qualified Feldenkrais Method teacher (a sensory motor learning method to help people move and feel better). She has been the Feldenkrais teacher for the Musicians' Union for the last two years, since Lockdown offering weekly sessions for Musicians. "I am Vice-Chair and international liason of the UK 's Feldenkrais Professional Guild, and have even taught the British Army about intelligent movement!"

As for so many of us, this year has been a bit of roller coaster for Emma, "after all my playing work was cancelled I turned to teaching Feldenkrais online, in the beginning to help me and my friends feel better and have an hour of self-care in the chaos, and then because there was a need. Weekly Skype calls with my extended family have helped, getting to see our disparate faces together on a Saturday morning has been great. And a lot of chocolate..."

Teaching Feldenkrais

Musician Mums Christmas Quiz!

Can you tell us what you'll miss most about performing this Christmas?

It feels so strange not to be performing at this time- I have been performing professionally since I was 16.

I'll miss not travelling, the connection with the audience (performing is something special for me), but also getting to spend time with my musical friends and colleagues.

What's your favourite carol/Christmas song?

See Amid the Winter's Snow. I'm a sucker for a good tune.

And what are you hoping for this year for Christmas?

Not much, it's clearly going to be a strange one this year, so just some sociable time at home, some good food, and a nice glass of wine or two- I'm sure the elves have enough to do!

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

My favourite musical memory is playing Midnight Mass at Westminster Cathedral surrounded by the amazing choir of boy trebles all singing their hearts out. There is something special about playing Christmas music at night, for those are celebrating the birth of Christianity.

Can you tell us your favourite thing about Christmas ?

I love the sparkly Christmas decorations, the children I teach getting excited about learning Christmas carols, and Christmas pudding! (That's only two too many!)

Finally, give us a hint towards what you're performing on the advent calendar?

Think rural...

Thanks so much Emma!

You can find out more about Emma's work here:


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