Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique

Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique

Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique

Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique

Synopsis

Written by an experienced professional musician and teacher of the Alexander Technique, this volume is the first to deal specifically with the application of the Technique to music-making. Introducing the musician to the principles and procedures evolved by F. M. Alexander (1869-1955), the book contains practical advice related to all areas of musical activity, from technique, sound production, and interpretation, to daily practice, rehearsal routines, and the mitigating of stage fright and health problems.

Excerpt

Sir Colin Davis

It is what man does that brings the wrong thing about, first with himself and then in his activities in the outside world; it is only by preventing this 'doing' that he can ever begin to make any real change.

F. M. alexander

Many people now have heard of the Alexander Technique, and know that F. M. Alexander dreamed of the restoration of 'good use of the self'. So how and when did we lose this 'good use' we were born with and enjoyed as infants? On the journey. Yeats has said it for us: we must all

Endure that toil of growing up; the ignominy of boyhood; the distress of boyhood changing into man; the unfinished man and his pain Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;

The finished man among his enemies? -- How in the name of Heaven can he escape That defiling and disfigured shape the mirror of malicious eyes Casts upon his eyes until at last He thinks that shape must be his shape?

(from 'A Dialogue of Self and Soul')

Can one find the way back, restore that 'good use' and the other things that went with it, and re-win through the longest journey the ability to live again as a small child? I do not know: but I do think it worth the effort. Work on that 'disfigured shape', strive to restore it, strip away the varnish -- that obscuring sediment of the years of conflict between the attempt to think well of oneself and the deepening knowledge of one's inadequacy for the task!

Alexander's 'way' was a real discovery: he found another means to confront the old problem of the mechanical man, slave to his idea of himself. His teaching gives us a new interest in ourselves. the attention . . .

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