Recently at Malden High School, an Alexander Technique instructor came in and gave a demonstration to the choral art society members.
The Alexander Technique is a way to feel better and move in a more relaxed and comfortable way, “the way nature intended.” It helps them be more comfortable in their own body; teachers and instructors help people identify and let go of harmful habits that result from stress. The technique originally stemmed from actor Frederick Matthias Alexander, but is really for all walks of life and professions.
Choral Art Society’s instructor Todd Cole has been aware of the Alexander Technique for many years, but this year he decided to “take an aggressive approach and get an expert in to work with [them].”
The technique essentially relieves body tension and gets rid of any harmful habits in a person’s daily life. It teaches posture correction important breathing methods used to get rid of stress that causes body tension.
In an Alexander Technique class or workshop, a teacher most importantly observes their students’ posture and movement patterns and also uses his or her hands to get more refined information on breathing and moving patterns.
To examine movements, he or she will ask her student to perform simple things that are directed at certain parts of their body that they are focusing on. As the teacher gathers information, they will convey all of their inferences to their students and use their hands to help release muscular tension. Classes are not very long, although to completely adapt to the technique, students must be consistent with their classes.
Though Alexander Technique is helpful to everyone, it is a great advantage for musicians. It has a long history of helping singers and instrumentalists “perform with less stress and likelihood of injury.” The technique releases tension from their bodies, enhancing their musical performance, which can be used in any situation.
The Alexander Technique has the potential to change the lives of the students that were able to experience it here at Malden High School. It will help them “move mindfully through life.”