Did you know that the Alexander technique is taught in most major drama schools and conservatoires? The music departments of some schools also offer lessons. Many of our best-known actors and musicians have studied it, names such as Dame Judy Dench, John Cleese, Yehudi Menuhin and Sting.
Why? Well the technique was originally developed when FM Alexander was an actor who was having problems with his voice. Some of his earliest pupils we think were other actors and singers.
What can it do for me?
Over 100 years later it is still helping performers in a range of ways:
- It helps you move more freely, whether acting, dancing or playing, losing your usual self in the activity
- It can improve breathing and ease strain on the voice
- It increases your awareness of your body, reducing the risk of injury (key for many musicians who can suffer terribly from rsi) and also allowing more interaction with fellow perfomers
- It allows you to reduce effort and let go of tension
- It can help you deal with performance-related stress
How can you teach me?
I am sadly not a skilled musician but that doesn’t stop me helping pupils who are. I have in the past done some acting and dancing and can work on that with pupils. I have also helped singers.
I tailor all my 1-1 lessons to your needs and interests and although we will cover the basic elements of AT it will be in a way that suits you. If what you need requires more specialist AT help than I can offer, then I am happy to help you find a more suitable teacher.
I also occasionally run group workshops for musicians, and on use of the voice. I offer tailored workshops for drama groups, choirs, dance academies etc. Ring or email me for more details – 07749 firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are lots of articles and sites about AT for musicians and performers, if you want to find out more about how it could help you. A good start for musicians is this site, which Robert Rickover, a North American teacher has kindly set up as a resource.
For actors there is no central page, but Googling acting and Alexander technique brings up many You-tube videos and other sites. The following article by Penny O’Connor, a London-based teacher might also be interesting – Acting and the Alexander Technique.
For dancers there is now a colleague in Leigh-on-Sea who is a movement and dance specialist as well as an Alexander teacher