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  • Alexander Technique












  • Alexander Technique

    History

    F.Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) began his career as a Shakespearean orator. He developed chronic laryngitis and shortness of breath while performing. Determined to restore the full use of his voice, he carefully watched himself as he spoke, using a system of mirrors. He observed that undue muscular tension accounted for his vocal problem and he discovered a way of releasing that tension. From his work on himself and others, he evolved a hands-on and verbal training method that teaches students how to identify and then release restrictions to their own physical functioning.

    Definition

    The Alexander Technique is a century-old method of helping people learn how to release harmful physical stress from their body- stress that can result in such symptoms as backache, stiff neck and shoulders and a variety of repetitive strain injuries. It is also widely used by performers who wish to improve the quality of their work.

    Teaching Process

    Alexander Teachers use a combination of verbal instruction and a light, guiding, touch to convey information to their students. Alexander Technique teaching is done in private lessons and in group classes. Private lessons are usually between 1/2 and 1 hour in length.

    Teacher Training

    There are a number of national, regional and international professional organizations that oversee formal teacher training and certify teachers. Most certified Alexander Technique teachers have completed a three-year full time training course. Typically, the training courses have a student teacher ratio of 5:1 or less.

    A few teachers have trained more informally on an apprenticeship basis and some of them have become members of professional societies through a rigorous review process. Not all Alexander Technique teachers are certified and not all teachers eligible for certification are members of a professional society.



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