The Alexander Technique is concerned with comprehensively improving the functioning of human beings.
The functioning of organisms is based on the general concept of liveliness in activity. The Alexander Technique works between the conflicting priorities of the tendency to appreciate the familiar and wanting to remain in it on the one hand and on the other hand bursting open in order to discover the new. Changing habits because they are perceived as unfavorable and as blocking the individual, means being confronted with a great mental force —or many underlying fears— that oppose these changes. But humans also have a strong desire to learn and change in order to improve their situation.
The learning process in the Alexander Technique is infinite and is guided by intense awareness.
Frederick Matthias Alexander developed working methods that, despite the complexity of the point of departure, lead to an improvement of people's functioning.
Individual coaching: 60 minutes
Cost: EUR 60.-
Groups: Price upon request
Cancellations: possible up to 24 hours before the appointment
The Alexander Technique works to optimize activities and reduce physical and mental tension.
Therefore coordination, motor skills, pain, breathing, speaking, or singing are examples of fields of work within this technique.
Often singers, actors, dancers and instrumental musicians find their way to the Alexander Technique, but since it works with the underlying coordination of the human being, its scope is not limited to any specific activity.
I also offer coaching on self-organization for individuals and small groups.
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was born in Tasmania.
He developed a predilection for the work of Shakespeare and began a career as an actor. Soon he was successful, but respiratory problems and increasing hoarseness led to the failure of his voice when reciting.
Alexander decided to get to the bottom of his own difficulties. He watched himself while speaking and reciting with the help of mirrors. In the process, he found that his habitual ways of thinking and his fixed prejudices had so greatly diminished his functioning on all levels that a coordinated use of himself was no longer possible. Even if he had already grasped intellectually how the body functions the most efficiently and even if he tried to act accordingly, he did not manage to do so.
These findings turn everything upside down: although humans can acknowledge many things, they nevertheless do not develop according to these discoveries. One can want the right thing and yet always do the wrong thing - and almost always without knowing it.
Although Alexander was able to free himself from his acute vocal problems, the fundamental importance of his discovery made him continue his experiments as well as refine them for another 10 years.
While continuing to work as an actor and reciter, his colleagues increasingly turned to him for help with their breathing and voice problems. Doctors also sent him their "difficult cases." He was called "The Breathing Man", first in Melbourne and later in Sydney, where he served as director of the Operatic and Dramatic Conservatory. Based on recommendations and invitations by prominent physicians, he moved to London in 1904, where his work gained more popularity among medical and theater circles.
During World War I, F. M. Alexander settled in New York. At the end of the war, he worked half of the year in the US and the other half in London. In London in 1927 he founded a private elementary school called the "Little School" in which, in addition to the normal curriculum, the Alexander Technique was taught. He was convinced that education is the key to social development.
In 1930, the first training course for teachers of the Alexander Technique was created in London. At the beginning of World War II, he moved to the United States, but in 1943 returned to London.
He wrote 4 books about his learning process and discoveries:
Man's Supreme Inheritance, 1910
Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, 1923
The Use of the Self, 1932
The Universal Constant in Living, 1940
My interest in the Alexander Technique began in 1986 in New York City. After 10 years of intense engagement and work with countless teachers, I completed my Alexander Technique Teacher Training (2000) at the American Center for the Alexander Technique Inc. in New York City.
Since 2010 I have been regularly working with Noam Renen, who has strongly influenced my way of working.
Noam Renen completed his training as an Alexander Technique teacher with Patrick J. MacDonald and Peter Scott in London in 1964.
He taught internationally and spread the Alexander Technique in many countries around the world such as Germany and Switzerland.
Over time he began to specialize in working with musicians and singers and developed his own style of teaching. At the same time, Renen places great emphasis on teaching the Alexander Technique as described in the books of F.M. Alexander without adulterating it. He is a critical observer of the international development of the Alexander Technique, which has led to conflicts with other Alexander Technique teachers.
Noam Renen teaches in Zurich and Israel. He is 91 years old and still works with up to 14 students a day, 6 days a week.