Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955)
Born in Tasmania in 1869, Alexander was a successful actor and reciter whose career was cut short by loss of voice during performances.
With no help forthcoming from the medical profession, Alexander undertook an intensive examination of himself in action, convinced that the source of his voice problem lay in the way he thought about and used his body. A long period of research led him to discover certain principles affecting mind/body co-ordination applicable to every kind of mental and physical activity.
With this knowledge he went on to cure his own voice problem and found that he could also help others. It was at this point that teaching his method became the main focus of his life.
Alexander arrived in England in 1904 and built up a practice in London and the USA. He had many influential supporters among whom were Sir Henry Irving, George Bernard Shaw, John Dewey, Aldous Huxley and Sir Stafford Cripps.
In 1931 he began training others to teach the Technique and continued both his private practice and training school until his death at the age of 86.
Today the importance of Alexander’s discoveries is confirmed by the existence of hundreds of teachers of his method, many of them members of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) founded in 1958 to maintain professional standards. There are societies affiliated to STAT in many countries outside the UK.
Alexander wrote four books on his method and they all remain in print today.
- Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1910, revised edition 1918)
- Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (1923)
- The Use of the Self (1932)
- The Universal Constant in Living (1941)
Diversity, inclusion and anti-discrimination
The Alexander Trust and STAT support diversity and oppose racism and every other form of prejudice or discrimination. We deplore all expressions thereof, in any form, contemporary or historical. The Alexander Trust, STAT and its members stand apart from any and all prejudicial or discriminatory passages in the writings of F M Alexander. They neither expound nor define the body of practice and theory that has come to be known as the Alexander Technique; they play no part in the manner in which the Technique is taught in STAT approved Training Courses or in the practice of the Technique by its Teaching Members. Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental to The Alexander Trust’s and STAT’s advancement of the Technique.