Given Alexander’s background as a reciter, his emphasis in his writings is more on voice use in general, and he rarely mentions singing. However, the obvious application of the Alexander Technique to singing has been explored by many writers.
F. M. Alexander
Alexander’s 32-page pamphlet, The Human Voice Cultivated and Developed for Speaking and Singing by the New Methods! does not contain anything specific for singing, but is on voice use and breathing in general. In the 1904 article ‘The Lady of the Deep C’, Alexander is described as helping the singer Miss Violet Elliott, an Australian contralto.
- Voice and the Alexander Technique by Jane Ruby Heirich.
- The Thought Propels the Sound by Janet M. Feindel.
- The Alexander Technique and the Art of Teaching Voice by Maria Weiss.
- Understanding the Singing Voice [PDF] by Beret Arcaya.
- Born to Sing by Ron Murdock.
- Towards Vocal Freedom by Gerald Wragg.
Books – Autobiography and memoirs
- On stage! by Agnès de Brunhoff.
- ‘How the Alexander Technique informs the teaching of singing’ by Sandra Head is primarily written for singers who are not familiar with the Technique.
- ‘The indirect approach to singing’ by Joyce Warrack; on the Alexander Technique as an indirect approach to a freely produced voice.
- ‘Training the singing voice’ by Beret Arcaya; on teaching singing using the methods of Manuel Garcia and the Alexander Technique; on what she is looking for in the voice.
- ‘Vocal misuse and the significance of the Alexander Technique’ by Michael Dale, a singing teacher, on building voice, on the bel canto tradition and the remedial work possible by the Alexander Technique.
- ‘Alexander Technique and the singing voice’ by Glynn Macdonald; on the usefulness of the whispered ‘ah’ for the voice, demonstrating with the audience.
- ‘Born to sing’ by Ron Murdock; on a number of factors involved in singing, from mental to physical factors.
- ‘The release is the breath’ by Michael Deason-Barrow; on the importance of space and on the concepts of breathing for singing.
- ‘Thought shepherding in singing’ by Patricia O’Neill; on ideas and techniques she uses as a singer and in teaching singing, divided into three groupings: awareness, inhibition and direction.
- ‘In the twinkle of an eye’ by Patrick Gundry-White; on the importance of the face, of seeing, in singing.
- ‘From the other side of the fence – Alexander Technique from the professional singer’s point of view’ by Karen Sell; on factors Alexander teachers should be aware of when working with singers, on positive effects, and on alleged negative effects of the Technique for singers.
- ‘Singing and the Alexander Technique’ by Sara Clethero argues that the use of the Alexander Technique in teaching singers is a philosophical approach which puts their work in its proper personal, emotional and spiritual context, and that as such the Technique is an existential activity.
- ‘Quiet breathing as a basis for a “free” voice’ by Daniel Süsstrunk; a brief introduction to how the author teaches singing in the bel canto style.
- ‘40 years of voice and the Alexander Technique’ by Ron Murdock; on his personal journal of studying with Frederick Husler, Yvonne Rodd-Marling, Walter Carrington, and learning about Chris Stevens’ psychophysical support system.
- ‘Metaphorically speaking’ by Patricia O’Neill reports on using metaphors and imagery and argues that metaphor and principles of the Technique define each other.
- ‘The voice, the person and the self’ by Beret Arcaya; with reference to Manuel Gracia and Alexander, the author emphasises the close connection between the use of the voice and the use and functioning of the overall self, arguing the Technique has much to offer singers in terms of how to rehearse, how to practise and how to study.
‘A spectral analysis of breathing efficiency and vocal production in singers before and after Alexander Technique lessons’ by Phyllis Richmond describes a pilot project with 25 singers recording a set of three different vocal activities before and after lessons in the Technique, using a spectrogram to create a voiceprint.
‘Applying Alexander Technique principles with a high school choir’ by Gabriella Minnes Brandes; a research project involving a choir of 58 students, in grades 10 through 12, age 15–18, over six weeks, receiving instruction and demonstration, and some having hands-on work, with special emphasis on the collaboration between the choir instructor and the Alexander Technique teacher.
‘Postural homeostasis’ by Wilfred Barlow reports on a study with 50 students from a ‘London Voice and Drama College’ (Royal College of Music) who had an average 37 half-hour lessons in the Alexander Technique over a period of 2–3 months. Progress was assessed on 20 subjects by means of Sheldon photography from which it was concluded that ‘marked differences occurred in the subjects without employing physical exercises’. In addition the two professors in charge of the students at the College prepared a progress report where they stated: 1. in all subjects there was a marked physical improvement, which was usually reflected vocally and dramatically; 2. all subjects became easier to teach; 3. eight of the subjects entered a singing competition where the total entry was over 100. Six of the eight students reached the semi-final, in which there were 15 semi-finalists. ‘This is quite out of proportion to what one might expect’ wrote the professors.
‘Voice production as a function of head balance in singers’ by F. P. Jones made a sound spectroscopy (a voice print) of a young woman singing, in an ‘habitual’ head-neck position and in an ‘adjusted’ head-neck position. The ‘adjusted’ head-neck position showed an improvement in the richness of the overtones and the almost disappearance of breathing sounds.