Frederick Matthias Alexander – Life and Method
F.M. Alexander was born in Tasmania in 1869. As a young, successful actor and reciter he was afflicted by such a strong hoarseness that he couldn’t pursue his career any more. Because neither conventional medicine nor sparing his voice brought any improvement, he researched the causes of his problems himself. Soon Alexander realised that the hoarseness was directly accompanied by the way he used his voice and his body.
By means of mirrors he analysed his recitation and saw that the ratio of head, neck and trunk, i.e. the primary control, was of utmost importance: when he had learned to excercise this primary control in a natural way, not only his voice problems vanished – he could also establish a general improvement of his health.
Based on these long-standing self-studies he developed the F.M. Alexander Technique which aims at a natural posture and the (re-)learning of a cautious handling of the body.
In the course of his profession as director at the “Operatic and Dramatic Conservatorium“ in Sydney, and later on in London and New York, Alexander was provided the opportunity to make his body technique available to the international public. In 1930, he established his first open class in London. Today, the Alexander Technique has been acknowledged worldwide: more than 3.000 instructors successfully make use of it by now.