Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The Alexander Technique Resource Book. A Reference Guide

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The Alexander Technique Resource Book. A Reference Guide

Article excerpt

John B. Harer and Sharon Munden, The Alexander Technique Resource Book. A Reference Guide. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009. Paper, xxx, 160 pp., $45.00. ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-5431-4; ISBN-10: 0-8108-5431-7

www.scarecrowpress.com

The focus of the Alexander Technique is the efficacy of muscle use. Instructors, using a hands-on approach, help individuals rid themselves of habitual unwanted tensions. John B. Harer and Sharon Munden - professors of library science and voice, respectively, at East Carolina University-have compiled an annotated guide to sources on the Technique. It may seem an inherent contradiction to create a resource guide dedicated to a method that, as emphasized by any writer on the topic, is based upon a practical awareness and cannot be learned from a book. The authors, however, advocate perusing descriptions of the Technique as an invaluable step toward understanding Alexander work. The Alexander Technique Resource Book fills a gap in the literature; the authors found other resource guides, but the works are limited both in number and scope. Some are not universally available, while others are selective, or omit current and or nonprint sources.

Harer and Munden preface the source listings with a brief history of the Alexander Technique. The method was devised by F. M. Alexander (1869-1955), an Australian actor and orator, as he sought solutions to his own vocal problems stemming from ineffective body use. The propagation of the method increased rapidly after he moved to London in 1904, and many notables since then (including educator John Dewey, Nobel Prize winning neurophysiologist Sir Charles Sherrington, and actors William Hurt and Kevin Klein) studied the Alexander Technique. …

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