The Alexander Technique is an indispensable part of my vocal technique and singing teaching; it provided me with the missing link to enable my voice to flourish when I was training as a singer. You can have the best voice teacher in the world, but unless you have good use of your body, which most of us don’t have by default, you will be interfering with your singing technique and getting in the way of your talent.
For many singers the Alexander Technique can provide the missing piece of the puzzle once learnt from a good teacher. Here are my 5 reasons how a singer can benefit from taking Alexander Technique lessons:
3. Helps manage Anxiety & Stress
Anxiety is part of the human condition and certainly part of a singer’s life. The Alexander Technique won’t get rid of your anxiety or stress completely; what is does do is help calm your nervous system and manage physical symptoms thereby calming your mind and body. By practicing the skills learnt in an AT lesson you gain more control and command over your body’s reflexes; therefore when you are in a performance or audition situation, you are less overwhelmed by the anxiety and can focus on the task of singing.
It’s much more helpful to think to yourself, am I lengthening between my feet and the crown of my head, or am I shortening and squashing myself? You want to be lengthening! The technique teaches you how to restore length and springiness throughout the body; encouraging an upward release and uncoiling, resulting in an improved posture through release rather than force.
The vocal mechanism also functions better when the body is lengthening and in good alignment. For example, singing high requires the larynx to move into a very hyper-extended posture, which is demanding and physically impossible if your head and neck are dropped forwards and down.
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