Greg Ford, Alexander Technique, Inner West Sydney - Newtown, Enmore
F. M. Alexander
Founder of the Alexander Technique


F. M. Alexander
F. M. Alexander

Frederick Mathias Alexander (1869 - 1955) was an Australian actor who suffered with vocal problems when he was performing. Medical advice was not helpful and he concluded that it must have been something to do with the way he was "using" his voice that was causing the problem. Using a three way mirror system he began a long process of self observation that lead him to his discoveries and the birth of what we now call the Alexander Technique.

He became aware of a pattern of tightening his neck which pulled his head back and suppressed his larynx so that his voice gradually became hoarse and his breathing became impaired. Importantly, until he observed this pattern in the mirror, he had been unaware of this habit. He eventually learned to be able to pause and direct his attention in a different way to prevent this pattern of what he called "misuse," so that he was able to vocalise without tightening muscles and his voice could function easily in the way it was designed.

He became known as the "breathing man" and began successfully helping other people - actors, people with various health problems, teaching them how to prevent poor habits of what he called "use" so that the body could regain it's natural balance and ease. Alexander's students included George Bernard Shaw, John Dewey and Aldous Huxley. He wrote several books about his work and taught his technique until the day he died.

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