In 1973 as a largely self taught flautist I was introduced to an Alexander teacher and experienced my first lesson. I soon realised that a great potential for improvement on the flute beckoned.
This in the area of applying a requisite measure of muscular effort to the instrument through a more accurate sensitivity to the tensions generated within my own musculature.
Here was a tricky situation indeed.
I knew that I was too “tense” for best results (even though experiencing a successful early career) but not in charge of reliable release of such tension.
It made perfect sense to me to direct my attention, through a series of Alexander lessons, to improving what Alexander calls “Use of the Self” to my particular situation.
And it is interesting to me that I won the audition 18 months later for the ENO post of Principal Piccolo. The piccolo requires great sensitivity of touch.
My journey closely matched that of Alexander himself, though of course his genius lay in acute observational powers of his own tensional imbalance, and its rectification, alone and unaided by any others. He was a true holistic pioneer.
I was motivated in 1982
After 7 years with ENO to enlist on an Alexander Training course and the work has fascinated me ever since.
Alexander believed that the earlier the principle of “Good Use” could be established in a child, the better health, well-being and balanced behaviour was the result. He even opened his “Little School” over which he presided, for very young children to put this theory to the test.
I attended a fascinating talk by one of them who attested to its lifelong benefits.
I am keen to keep this tradition alive in young people and in the process help them with their instrument. ( it is important to do this in conjunction with the instrumental teacher)
I am particularly interested in passing on the Technique to include the four books Alexander wrote between 1910-1941 and keeping alive the relevance of their content.
My link to Alexander
was through one of his trainee students who went on to teach the work well into her 90’s, in Oxford where we lived she and I were closest of friends and she taught me much from first hand experience, before her death aged nearly 100.
Alexander Technique has a wonderful relevance in this fractious world where so many conditioned habits and fixed opinions divide us.