Many people come to the Alexander Technique because they suffer from pain and tension or want to improve their posture, but studying the Alexander Technique has so much more to offer.
One of the main groups of people who benefit are performers – people who engage in activities that require fine tuned control of their body movement, voice, or instrument and the ability to shape subtle aspects of their performance. The Alexander Technique can refine control while at the same time imbuing performance with a sense of presence and freedom. From beginning skill development to the honing of the highest levels of expertise, the Alexander Technique can help performers overcome hurdles and reach ever-higher goals.
The main way the Alexander Technique improves performance is by teaching you how to control what needs attention and how to release control of the things that should have greater freedom and ease. The foundation that allows for refined control involves improving the quality and organization involved in how you use the head, neck, and back and how you relate the limbs to the back, what Alexander called use. We often think of this as developing better postural support – more tone with less tension and greater dynamic presence with more ease and lightness of movement. When the head and torso are used properly, there is tone in the torso that supports arm and leg movements, making limbs lighter and easier to move freely.
But the Alexander Technique gives us much more than freedom in our movement – it allows us to change how we control our head and torso and our limbs. This means that limb movements can be less directly controlled (e.g. instructing the guitar strumming arm to move up, then down repeatedly) and instead, allow for movement patterns to emerge that live less in the realm of body mechanics, but link directly to the rhythmic pattern of the song, the dynamics or emotion conveyed by the performance. The withdrawing of direct control over how we produce our movement or voice actually allows us to give more of our attention to what we are producing – the music, dance, or acting performance itself. It may be counter-intuitive, but the more we release our control of how we will produce the details of our performance, the more attention we can give to performance itself. Give the Alexander Technique a try and see just how much more depth you can add to your practice and performance.
Improve tone and precision and develop a greater ability to shape dynamics and musical expression.
Develop a greater sense of fully body coordination and exploit the physics of their body in space by capitalizing on the powers of gravity and momentum to develop more efficient movement patterns.
Singers and Actors
Develop vocal power without strain and shape their sound and communication with greater subtlety.
Strengthen their ability to be present and to make choices in the moment – to recover from mistakes or to improvise and respond to other performers.