Alexander

Fredrick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955)
developed the technique in the 1890’s. He was an Australian actor who specialized in reading from Shakespeare when he developed problems with his voice which risked ending his career. He consulted doctors who could not diagnose any specific disease or cause of the hoarseness.
If there were not clear medical cause for his problem, Alexander reasoned that he might be doing something wrong when reciting.
Alexander went on developing his technique by observing himself for years using a set of mirrors. It was through observing that the influence on his voice was very much related to the way he was using his head neck back relationship.

What emerged from this experiment of many years was more than just a vocal technique. Alexander gradually realised that the functioning of the voice depended on the correct balance of tension in his entire neuromuscular system, from head to toe.

Alexander developed his technique to encourage and maintain this balance through conscious attention and control: a technique that has become applicable to a wide range of problems and aims. In short, this balance was extremely important for overall coordination and many other functions, such as breathing, posture, freedom of the joints in moving the whole body, using arms and hands for skilled activities, staying calm under pressure and maintaining good overall health.




"If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor man's cottages princes palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instruction: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of twenty to follow mine own teaching!"


-The merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare