Who was FM Alexander?

“You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension.”
F.M. Alexander

 F.M. Alexander was a Shakespearean actor from Australia in the early 20th century. He experienced vocal loss and was advised to rest. He did and got better, but when he went back to performing, his hoarseness returned. He came away thinking that there must be something he was doing to cause the problem. After much self-observation in the mirror, he observed that just before he spoke he would pull his head back slightly, stiffen his neck, and gasp for a bit of air. This affected his entire body. After trying to do what he thought was right, without much success, he experimented with not doing what he had identified as interfering. Simply put, he subtracted something rather than adding something. He discovered that this was the key to regaining the use of his voice.  

Alexander’s life

Alexander’s audio

Notable students of the Alexander Technique include:

  • Madonna
  • Sting
  • Julie Andrews
  • Hilary Swank
  • Paul Newman
  • William Hurt
  • John McEnroe
  • Sir Colin Davis, Conductor
  • Sir Charles Sherrington, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, 1932
  • George Coghill, Biologist, Anatomist, member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • John Dewey, Educator and Philosopher
  • Aldous Huxley, Writer