The Alexander Technique


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Power Point Presentation about Alexander Technique in the music field.

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The Alexander Technique

  1. 1. By Kirsten A. Lashbrook ED 205
  2. 2. <ul><li>Concept Map </li></ul><ul><li>Biography of Kirsten A. Lashbrook </li></ul><ul><li>Alexander Technique </li></ul><ul><li>Matthias Alexander </li></ul><ul><li>What Did He Do? </li></ul><ul><li>How Does it Work? </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Singing </li></ul><ul><li>Using the Body </li></ul><ul><li>Vocal Folds </li></ul><ul><li>Alexander in Action </li></ul><ul><li>How Does it Help Singing? </li></ul><ul><li>Where AT is Taught </li></ul><ul><li>Alexander Technique Photos </li></ul><ul><li>Babies Know How to Do It </li></ul><ul><li>Other Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of Alexander Technique </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Therapy and AT </li></ul><ul><li>Books about Alexander Technique </li></ul><ul><li>Sources </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>I am a Music Education major at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. I am majoring with an emphasis in vocal music, at the secondary level. I have a keen interest in teaching at a higher level of education and having my own studio . I have been involved in music since I was five, when I started playing the piano. I am also very interested in Music History and Music Theory. I plan on attending grad school to get my masters in Vocal Music Performance after I graduate from Grand Valley in 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Alexander Technique was designed by Matthias Alexander around 1890. It is a way of holding your body physically and mentally so everything is completely aligned and works with the body’s core. It is a popular study in vocal music, and singing incorporates the entire body. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Alexander was an Shakespearean orator, when after many performances continued to lose his voice. Doctors had no answer as to why this was happening. While practicing his speeches, he watched himself in mirrors so he could see what was happening physically. He found that he was tightening his entire body as he was preparing to speak. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>In observing others, he found that the tightening of the torso was the main issue, because it caused the neck to tighten as well, cutting off a majority of the voice. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>The teacher uses verbal and hands-on assistance to move and place the student’s body it different ways. This could be something as simple as adjusting the width of the legs while standing or how the head sits on top of the neck. Once the body is properly adjusted, the student can feel a consistent line through the body. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Before learning and using AT, it is important that you know your instrument physically inside, so you know all the effects. As you exhale the larynx vibrates, and acts like a reed, similar to a clarinet. The position of the tongue, and the tightening or losing of the vocal chords aids in the changing of pitch. When inhaling, the diaphragm should drop, or feel low, and when exhaling or singing, it should pull in, where the lower abdominal is. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Singing is something that uses your entire body. Making sure your feet are flat on the floor, one may be slightly ahead of the other, knees relaxed and slightly bent, you will almost feel nailed to the floor. In singing, we are our own instrument, so we need to know how to use it and how to properly take care of it, because we only get one! </li></ul>
  10. 12. <ul><li>Watch this video to get a better idea of how Alexander Technique works! </li></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>As you can see in the examples, the skeleton on the left has a “scrunched” neck, and the head is pulled back underneath the top of the neck. The skeleton on the right, has a more open, elongated neck and the head appears to float on top of the neck. In return, this creates a more open airway, resulting in a better breath and more consistent breath, which produces a more consistent sound. And most importantly, helps prevent the risk of injury. </li></ul>
  12. 14. <ul><li>Alexander Technique is taught at many institutions globally in a regular classroom setting. Some of those schools are The Julliard School of Performing Arts in New York, The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, and The Royal College of Music in London, England. Other schools bring in AT specialists for Master Classes and Seminars. Other schools do not even believe in adding it to the curriculum. </li></ul>
  13. 15. <ul><li>Check out the Alexander Technique website to see more images and learn more! </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>Many doctors, singers, performers and educators who have studied AT have all found the same result: infants naturally use AT and use correct breathing “procedures”. For many singers, we have to relearn how to breath and hold their bodies, as babies do this naturally! </li></ul>
  15. 17. <ul><li>In one article I read about AT, Born to Sing, by Ron Murdock, suggests that the tensions that are built up can be due to past traumatic experiences or lack of self confidence. If someone is under the impression that they cannot sing, do not sing well, or has a great deal of performance anxiety, they will become tense throughout the whole body. And AT is in some ways a form of Classical Conditioning to help the body adjust, relax, and realign, to create a healthy and beautiful to ne. </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>Return to Table of Contents </li></ul><ul><li>Freer more comfortable movement </li></ul><ul><li>Relief from strain, pain, and tension. </li></ul><ul><li>Healthier breathing </li></ul><ul><li>Better posture </li></ul><ul><li>Increased strength </li></ul><ul><li>Better performances </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>Alexander Technique can also be used in physical therapy or as an alternative to a chiropractor. It is mainly used for patients with posture and movement dysfunctions. AT is still fairly new to the physical therapy world, and has only been involved for about fourteen years. A few therapists have heard about it, but when AT is used, they bring in AT educators to work side by side with doctors and therapists. </li></ul>
  18. 21. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Born to Sing by Ron Murdock </li></ul>