Who was F.M. Alexander

F.M.Alexander was an actor born in Tasmania in 1869 . In his early 20’s began to develop difficulties with his voice. After seeing many different specialists who couldn’t help him, he began to observe himself. He noticed that what he was thinking, affected how his body was responding. When he began to recite he would take a noisy breath in, grip the floor with his feet and pull his head back and down.

He realised that he needed to stop “to inhibit” doing this, and to give himself “directions” to “Let the neck be free so that the head can go forward and up to allow the back to lengthen and widen”. He slowly improved his vocal use and his stage presence. People could see the difference and he started to teach others his technique. Many scientists endorsed his methods including Sir Charles Sherrington, today considered the father of modern neurology and Nobel Laureate, Nikolaas Tinbergen, who won the prize for “physiology and medicine” in 1973.

F.M.Alexander established a practice in London and wrote numerous books and articles on his Technique – Use of the Self, Constructive Conscious Control, Man’s Supreme Inheritance of the Individual. Among his students were George Bernard Shaw, John Dewey and Aldous Huxley.

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