Performing Arts

The Alexander Technique for

the Performing Arts

In 1988, the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians surveyed orchestral musicians and found from the 2,212 respondents that 76 percent had a significant medical problem that affected their ability to play.

The Alexander Technique has a long history of helping instrumentalists and singers to perform with less stress and likelihood of injury. Musicians do some of the most complex and demanding physical movements of any profession. In recent years, the term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) has come into popular use, but musicians have always had to face the challenge of performing the same complex muscular actions over and over again.

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By helping musicians improve the quality of the physical movements involved in playing an instrument or singing, the Alexander Technique also helps improve the quality of the music itself. A violinist’s stiff shoulders and arms will get in the way of a pleasing sound; a singer’s tight neck or jaw will cause the voice to become less resonant. By helping musicians release undue tension in their bodies, the Alexander Technique makes possible a performance which is more fluid and lively, less tense and rigid.

How the Alexander Technique has helped Performing Artists

SINGING WITH EASE

“Since I began weekly sessions learning Alexander Technique, my quality of life has improved dramatically. I no longer experience the chronic back and neck pain that had become very troublesome over the past year! I sleep better and have more energy in my daily routine. As a professional opera singer, I have learned a great deal from Sherry about bad habits in breathing and phonating that caused me chronic tension and pain. Not only do I sing with ease now, I have more resonance and greater dramatic presence in my performing!

-Dr. Robin Fisher

CSU Sacramento Department of Music

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