SOUND ADVICE #6 — Why the Alexander Technique?

As a teacher that gives singing lessons to adults and children in Marin County and San Francisco, I often get puzzled looks when I say that I am also a teacher of the Alexander Technique. Often, prospective students have never heard of it, or they ask me if it is the same as the Feldenkrais method.

The Alexander Technique has been around since the early 1900s, when F.M. Alexander, an English actor, lost his voice and found his way back to health by taking a good look in the mirror. What the mirror showed was that every time he would go to speak or recite, he would create all sorts of strange tightening in his head, neck, and chest. Slowly, through years of scrutiny, he developed a way of working through this habitual compression, which was deeply linked to how he “sensed” himself. When he succeeded in stopping his reflexive and habitual response to speaking, he revolutionized the way he spoke, moved and existed in his body.