COMPANION

Alma Frank

Alma (Mae Magoon) Frank (1898–1953), US teacher of the Alexander Technique.

Life

Frank received an M.A. from Teachers’ College of Columbia University. She heard about the Technique from Margaret Naumburg while teaching at Naumburg’s nursery school at Walden – one of the first progressive educational schools in the US. (Naumburg, who founded the Walden school, was instrumental in bringing Alexander to the USA.) Frank worked with Lawrence Frank (no relation) and received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to study the Technique; she trained with Alexander 1937–40 and taught in New York City and Beverly Hills until her death in 1953. She also taught, with Alexander and other teachers, at the Little School, which had been moved to Stow, Massachusetts, at the outbreak of the World War II. In 1927 she married the novelist Waldo Frank (1889–1967) who was also a pupil of the Technique; their daughter, Deborah Caplan, became a teacher of the Technique.[1]

Writings

In 1938 she published an article, ‘A Study in Infant Development’ in Child Development (March 1938), drawing connections among infant growth and behaviour, G. E. Coghill’s work on the mechanism of total integration, R. Magnus’ work on the reflexes of anti-gravity muscles, and Alexander’s work on the primary control of the reflex action of use.

‘A Study in Infant Development’ is available online as a PDF in the Mouritz Library.

See also Waldo Frank, Deborah Caplan.

References

[1] The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), endnote 125, p. 288.