Writing as part of learning the Alexander Technique
F. M. Alexander
Irene Tasker in her notebooks report that Alexander initially (March 1931) asked the first training course students to write on their experiences of putting the Technique into practice:
F.M.A. suggested students should write a paper discussing the relative shortness of time required for dealing with, say, stiffening of fingers at piano, by means of exercises as against working to the means-whereby principle in doing everything.
A few days later Irene Tasker reports on Alexander’s response to having read four papers by the students:
F.M.A. commented on general lack of concrete matter in 4 papers given in yesterday. He suggested that the students should make careful records of experiments on each other, . . . His advice was that in all future written work there should be concrete illustration for each piece of theory . . . .
Alexander discontinued the practice of asking students to write papers on the Technique as there are no further accounts of it, and later students, such as Walter Carrington, report that there were no writing of papers as part of the training course.
Later approaches to writing on the Alexander Technique
At least one teacher training course requires students to write essays on the Alexander Technique (for example, on Alexander’s books) as a mandatory part of the course. Other training courses have writing as an optional extra.
Training courses can be accredited by The Open College Network (in the UK), where writing is part of the course.
Writing on the Technique, reflections on or a diary of learning the Technique has or is used on some acting and music colleges as part of learning the Technique. For example, in ‘The Alexander Technique as part of the degree course at the Royal College of Music, London’ by Peter Buckoke describes details of the degree course where Level 1 includes having to submit a diary of about 1,000 words.
- The Alexander Technique and Autobiographical Writing by Joan Diamond explains how to use autobiographical writing (i.e. writing about one’s past experiences) to become aware of patterns of thinking and behaving.
- There are examples of children of the Little School writing stories about or involving the Alexander Technique in their writings in The Alexander Times Vol. 1: 1929-1932 and Vol. 2: 1933-1934.