The Alexander Technique
In a nutshell, the Alexander Technique is a tool for establishing connections: connections among different body parts, connections between body and mind, connections with the physical world (including your instrument), connections with music itself and with your audience. Developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), the Technique is taught all over the world to musicians and non-musicians alike. A good number of music colleges and conservatories offer lessons and classes in Alexander Technique, including (among many others) the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Juilliard School in New York, and the Conservatoire de Paris.
There is a rich bibliography of books and articles on the application of the Alexander Technique to music making. Below is a sample.
- The Alexander Technique for Musicians, by Judith Kleinman and Peter Buckoke.
- Indirect Procedures: A Musician’s Guide to the Alexander Technique, by Pedro de Alcantara.
- A web page that curates pertinent websites and articles.
- A series of video clips on YouTube titled “7-Minute Alexander” and showing seven-minute edited versions of 70-minute lessons in the Alexander Technique.
- Interested in finding out more? Contact the London-based Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT). From its main page you can access a list of certified teachers in the UK.
Pedro de Alcantara
Pedro de Alcantara has been a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique since 1983, and is a classically trained cellist who has added improvisation, composition and singing to his musical palette. For more information about Pedro’s work visit his website. Discover Pedro’s music by exploring his SoundCloud page.