The Alexander Technique For Pianists and Their Teachers

By Deborah Fishbein Adams

Reprinted from Exchange, The ATI Journal, Vol 3. No. 2, 1995
© 1992, Deborah Adams, All rights reserved

A student enters the studio for a lesson in the Alexander Technique. Before her is a chair, perhaps a table and a mirror. The teacher guides the student to the chair, his hands perceptively, gently cradling her head. He says, “neck free, head forward and up.” What does this instruction mean? What is the purpose of this extraordinary event?

The Alexander Technique: It’s Role In Dance Training

By Glenna Batson, PT, MA (Dance)

Dance is a performing art built upon the ebb and flow of muscular tension. Through muscular tension, dancers express their aesthetic sensibilities. The word “dance,” in fact, stems from the Old High German “danson,” meaning to stretch, and from the earlier Sanskrit root “tan,” meaning tension. The building and resolution of tensions we experience in performance touches us deeply — kinesthetically, emotionally, and spiritually. At the heart of a dancer’s training lies the cultivation of muscular effort – its degree, sensibility, precision, refinement. Although dancers train their bodies in many ways, the cornerstone is technique. Dancers would be hard pressed, however, to come up with one succinct phrase that adequately defines technique. Returning the the dictionary, the word technique simply means the “manner and ability with which we pursue a particular endeavor.” What is the “manner and ability” needed to dance?

The Alexander Technique and the Actor

By Meade Andrews & Saura Bartner

The following article describes the authors’ work with the Alexander Technique in relation to acting training. Saura teaches Alexander Technique for actors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the Trinity Rep Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island. Meade is on the faculty of the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in Washington, D.C., and is a recent recipient of the prestigious Helen Hayes Theatre Award. The article is designed as an introduction to the Alexander Technique for the acting teacher and student.