What is the Alexander Technique?

 

The Alexander Technique is predicated on self awareness and an acknowledgement of our ability to change. 

F M Alexander was one of the first people to recognise the symbiotic relationship between mind and body, this is central to the work.

For performance to be healthy, spontaneous and creative it needs to be free from rigidity of mind, body and intention, Alexander thinking facilitates all of those freedoms.

The work develops awareness that we can choose the responses to stimuli in our lives rather than responding automatically. Another way of describing the state we might choose to be in is ‘truly present’.

The work starts by developing an understanding of the nature of habit and the identification of any negative personal habits.

We usually find the physical is the easiest platform to initiate the process of change, so at first the thinking is about outwardly visible patterns (habits), e.g. how we sit or stand or move with and connect to a musical instrument.

The initial work can be seen as a template for applying the Technique to all activities and once the basic ideas have been understood we can look at mental and emotional responses.

Performance anxiety is a perfect example of an automatic ‘response to stimulus’ and can be tackled with this psycho-physical approach - like any other habit.

Alexander work tends to free the mind, body and spirit from automatic repetition and gives one the feeling of being alive and ready for anything.

 
 
 'Hands on' work at the RCM

'Hands on' work at the RCM

Alexander in the degrees

The RCM has embedded the Technique in the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees

 

Read the book

Peter Buckoke and Judith Kleinman wrote 'The Alexander Technique for Musicians' for Bloomsbury, London 2013

Go to the book page for more details