Incorporation of Alexander Technique Principles in Teaching Voice: A Psychological Approach
journal contributionposted on 01.05.2013, 00:00 by Larry Hensel
As a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique (AT) and a college-level voice teacher, I am often asked how much I incorporate AT into a voice lesson. While I am careful to make the distinction between a voice lesson and an AT lesson, my training as an AT teacher has greatly influenced my vocal pedagogical approach. F. M. Alexander (1869–1955) began his career as a stage actor, and later devised a methodology that can be used in any activity. He codified his discoveries into principles that would “free ourselves from the deeper and deeper layers of interference with natural functioning,” (Michael Gelb, Body Learning). “Learning how to learn” is what distinguishes the AT from all the other “ways to grow.” (Frank Pierce Jones, Freedom to Change). You can only change as quickly as you can change your thinking, which might sound easy at first, but I have found it to be one of the most challenging parts of AT. Through the exploration of awareness and change that AT has provided, I find that I communicate pedagogical ideas in a much more direct, simple way. But the most consequential change has been in my response to my students’ psychophysical development in the complex art of singing.