Monday, March 15, 2010

Alexander Technique - Lessons?

A simple quote from Sophocles -

"The ideal condition would be, I admit, that man should be right by instinct; But since we are all too likely to go astray, the resonable thing is to learn from those who can teach."

Pain? Uncoordination? Sensory deficits? Learn from those who can teach!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alexander Technique and Biology

Considered the father of psycho-biology, CL Herrick stated shortly before he died in 1904, "Structure is a snapshot of behavior." He saw the future of forensics...

But more importantly for human behavior studies, he saw that there is a link between behavior and structure.

One of his students, GE Coghill spent his career studying the behavior of the newt, making important observations about the role of the head in animal movement. When he met FM Alexander, he readily caught on to what Alexander was doing since it agreed with what had been discovered by scientists up to that time. The beautiful thing was that Alexander had transformed this observable fact into practical reality.
Alexander Technique - practical science!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Technique for Musicians

Ran across this paragraph from Frank Pierce Jones between managing laundry and children's practice sessions... "In teaching the principle (Alexander's work) to a musician (or to anyone else, for that matter), the aim is to increase the pupil's awareness of himself as a whole, until he can detect the interference in the head-neck relationship, which is the first link in the reflex chain of "getting set" to do something - to sit down, to pick up a bow, or to strike a chord. In order to accomplish this, the teacher helps the pupil to carry out the activity without the habitual interference, and to realize by actual experience the lightness and freedom of movement that come when the primary control operates normally. Through repeated experience of this kind, the pupil gradually builds a new standard of kinaesthetic judgement. With this standard he has the power at any time to know whether he is obtaining the maximum of freedom and control in what he is doing."
From "Musical America," January 1, 1949.
Jones' comment that you can know whether you are free or not conflicts with Alexander's comment from the 1930's, "The only thing you'll ever really know is that you're wrong." The fact that they conflict only means we have a great playground for inquiry. That's what we do in Rockford with the Alexander Technique!